Monday, December 8, 2008

What works...

Pics: Daddy and Kendall. Uncle Tom and Kendall with Daddy and Clark getting into the picture. Tommy, Stephanie and Ems.

I've decided to share a few things that "work" for us (I got the idea from another friend's blog). While not all of you reading this have triplets, hopefully you might find an idea or two that could help you and it might also provide a little insight into our world.

1.) Traveling with babies on what should be a 6-hour drive will only occur after babies have been fed, bathed and are dressed in PJs and on their way to sleepy-time.

2.) Pampers sensitive wipes - for diaper changing, face cleaning, nose-wiping, spit-up mopping. They are simply the softest, kindest cloths that don't lead to screams from babies (in most cases). They are great for adult spills and messy hands too, so don't think they are just for babies.

3.) Pampers diapers (Swaddlers as newborns and Cruisers for older infants) for bedtime. We used Swaddlers all day/night early on and then switched to using them just at night because they are pricey, but worth it to avoid leaks in the night.

4.) Luvs diapers during the day. Again, now that they are older, we think that these are adequate and "do the job" but for a much more reasonable price. They cannot, however, be trusted to hold up all night.

5.) Homemade organic veggies. Peas, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes. Using organic veggies makes me feel like I'm doing "right" for them. Homemade means that we are saving just a little money and it doesn't take that much time.

6.) Gerber Graduates Puffs - great distraction, not too messy (like biter biscuits - yuck), portable for car rides or trips to the relatives' house, good practice with finger foods, but don't feed them to the babies at dinnertime as they seem to keep them up at night.

7.) Adult incontinence pads (pee pee pads) in their cribs - put one under crib sheet, then another and layer another crib sheet and then repeat one more time. This way, if said diapers (What Works #2) DON'T make it through the night, or babies spit up, we can pull off one layer and get back to sleeping as soon as possible.

8.) Fridge and bottle warmer (AKA crock pot on "warm") upstairs near the nursery (at least early on). It was a lot easier to be able to grab bottles and throw them in the crock pot/warmer upstairs and still stay slightly asleep rather than dragging our tired behinds downstairs in the middle of the night. We have just recently switched to storing/warming bottles downstairs in the kitchen. Sorry, call me lazy, but it was really helpful for the first few months.

9.) Minivan. OK, so I never PLANNED to drive a minivan and like it. But it's OK. It has lots of space and traveling in it was pretty nice. We chose to spend the money to get leather seats and I think that was wise - even this early on, I can tell that we will be grateful to have the leather seats for spills and spit up issues. And I love the little "lazy susan" compartment in the floor. Too cool.

10.) Superyard XT with 10 panels. Eight panels were just not enough to accomodate three (growing - crawling) babies, their toys and a helper/parent/aunt/uncle or two. It was way too crowded until we added the other panels.

11.) A sofa in the nursery. Seriously, if you have room for one, it is wonderful. Even with one child it would seem that Mommy AND Daddy could hang out on the couch reading bedtime stories together as a family. And when there are nighttime interruptions, it's nice to have the couch to fall on when you just HAVE to lay down and can't quite get the baby to cooperate.

12.) Baby Einstein. OK, I know that some people argue that too much TV is bad for infants - especially under 2, but it's obvious that THOSE people don't have multiples. If I ever want to get anything done around the house, Baby Einstein DVDs are the best way to make that happen. And I DO think they learn something. Yes, I worry that my kids are going to be TV-heads and I've shed a tear or two over it ("I'm a terrible Mommy. My kids will be scarred for life."), but quite frankly, until you have three infants (or more) in your house at one time, you just might not be able to understand how important and wonderful these DVDs are. And that happy little caterpillar crawling across the screen has halted a screaming meltdown more than once, so I could just hug it sometimes. And Emma is quite fond of the FBI warning too. Good times.

13.) Overalls. I thought I hated them, but now I can see that they are valuable. The babies are busy trying to learn to crawl, climb, stand and walk and their pants and cute dresses only drag them down. Pants pull down when they crawl. Tops ride up when they are trying to climb. Overalls can be layered with short or long-sleeved onesies and you can even get a jacket over them without it looking too bulky. We love overalls.

14.) Craigslist. It's the best way to find things for the kids, the house, etc. And it's the free way to sell your stuff. There is no charge to run an "ad". The only downside is that you have to handle the finances (no Paypal) and you have to meet the buyer. I always meet in very public places. It was a great way to find formula at a LOW price. A lot of people sell the stuff that they get free from dr offices, samples, etc. Yes, it's shady. I mean, it's stuff that was free to them, but I was so glad to get it for less than half off (or better) that I didn't care.

15.) Gumdrops pacifiers. We got these when they were in the NICU. I don't even know how many we had in the beginning. Now we are down to eight. At one point, I know there were twelve, so I'm sad that we only have eight...and a little stressed. They aren't cheap (if you have to buy them 800-396-1550) and we are hoping that we will get them out of the paci-stage in the next couple of months, so I don't want to buy more. And they look so darn cute when they are sucking on them upside down. It's also pretty funny to watch them stealing pacifiers from each other. Hours of entertainment for the whole family.

16.) Praise Baby Sleepytime DVD. We play this at night as part of the bedtime routine. They eat dinner and then it's bathtime. We still do baths in a tub in the kitchen sink, so it's one-at-a-time. While the others are waiting, we often let them hang in the baby super zone and have this video playing in the background. I always select the children's voice singing the songs. It's just really sweet and comforting.

17.) IKEA plates and bowls. Aunt Tam gave them these and they have worked out great for meals. Easy to clean. Perfect size for little tots. Bright colors (a little too interesting for Clark as he always wants to grab them). And MUCH cheaper than the usual baby-ware.

18.) Coupons, CVS and Walgreens deals. And even better are places that double your coupons (like Kroger up to 50 cents and when K-mart offers double coupons up to $2)! I HATE cutting and sorting coupons and I'm determined to find a better way to organize my coupons, but I still get great satisfaction from knowing how much I saved off of my grocery bill or how many things I've been able to get for free. Ooohh how fun is that?!?! We left Kroger with $40 worth of baby food and spent nothing! I was so pleased. These sorts of trips don't happen often, but when they do, I just feel good all over.

19.) People magazine. Yes, it's trashy. Yes, I have a THOUSAND other things to do that are more important. And no, it isn't cheap. But it was my birthday present and I love it. It provides me with a little break and I can share it with Troy or the family or the baby helpers when they are here. It's just fun to be able to look through and read about other people instead of thinking about the piles of laundry or the sink full of dishes or the can full of dirty diapers.

20.) Step 2 Choo Choo Wagon. The kids were barely able to use this before the weather got cold, but they loved it. It's so much more interesting than a regular stroller. And they can sit up, look all around and NOT be able to kick the baby in front of them, or pull hair. Granted, it is also hard to get a nap going in one of the "cars", but obviously Kendall was able get in a little power nap on Halloween night. We've heard from other parents of multipiles that it is a lifesaver and even easier than a stroller.

21.) Bare feet. I apologize to those of you who love baby shoes and baby socks and worry about cold baby feet....sort of. I mean, I'm sorry if it is annoying to you that I avoid shoes and socks whenever possible (for them), but it's just so hard to keep up with them. And socks make it hard for them to crawl and climb and jump. Shoes just fall off or get pulled off (after being a sucking toy). And our babies love their feet. They love to see them, feel them, stick them in their mouths. So, I love bare feet. We are having cold weather, so they usually have on socks or tights, but once it warms up again those socks will be in the drawer and we'll be playing with baby toes.

21.) Family and friends who love (y)our kids. I can't begin to stress how wonderful it is to have people in our world who seem to love spending time with our babies. And the babies (very obviously) love to be with them also. We are so grateful for everyone who has been a part of their 10 months.

I'm sure I'll come up with more things as we move through this life with triplets and I'll be sure to share them. For now, it's late and I really do have to get to bed before someone starts waking up. Sorry that I'm not posting a regular "baby message" tonight. Let's just say that they are ALL TEETHING and it's a little crazy around here!!! But they are too cute. :)


Coffeybunny said...

Excellent post Experienced Triplet Mama!
I've got another Thing That Works coming for the babes for Christmas, can't wait!

Anonymous said...

Hey, as for the baby wipe thing, they're big cousin is 24 with no kids and swears by sensitive skin baby wipes as makeup removers and something to wipe the dogs off with between baths too. Baby wipes have to be one of the best things invented, EVER!!! Love all ya'll

Anonymous said...

What a great of these days when I have kids, guess who I'll be turning to for advice... :)

The Triplet Christmas Picture is priceless - I adore it!