FREECYCLE.

I certainly do not consider myself a conservationist, but our family does recycle and look for ways to conserve energy. I always turn off lights when not in use, for example. In addition, I make an effort to get information about simple, easy ways in which we can "do our part". I had heard about a grass roots organization called FREECYCLE and earlier this year I joined the local FREECYCLE group on Yahoo. If you are at all interested in saving our planet for your children, or are interested in getting FREE stuff, I urge you to take a few minutes to learn more about The Free Cycle Network. Membership is free.

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,870 groups with 6,868,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people).

Basically, the way that it works is that rather then throwing something away into a landfill, members post the item on a Yahoo group message board. Interested people send an anonymous email to the donor saying they would like the item. The donor leaves the item outside their house and the interested party picks the item up! Items offered on the FREECYCLE board include everything from coupons to tools to clothes to furniture to plants.

A few items I have taken from other FREECYCLERS include a Barbie doll house, Little Tykes Workbench and LEGO set, just to name a few. We have also participated by giving appreciative FREECYCLERS various items such as a changing table and jumperoo.

Please FREECYCLE if you can.

That special feeling.

I had a first the other night – a first as a father. To put the “experience" into perspective, I thought I would jot down a few of the experiences I have had as a dad:

- I have changed more than my share of diapers - probably more then the average dad and maybe even more than average for a father of triplets. Smelly diapers, wet diapers, disgustingly wet and dirty diapers and diaper changes which require a clothing change.
- I have sat next to a crib for more than hour (at all hours of the night and morning) in hopes that Allie (or Anna or Emily) will fall back asleep.
- I have dozed off briefly from exhaustion while feeding a bottle to one of my daughters.
- I have experienced the panic that only a parent can experience when, out in public, I lost sight of one of my girls for the briefest of moments.
- I have cried tears of joy to myself when I thought of how far Sarah and I have come from those days when the girls were still in Sarah’s womb. When Sarah was pregnant we had a simple wish “please just let these girls be delivered alive and healthy”. I now watch in amazement as they walk, talk and run through our lives.
- I have been witness to one of my naked daughters emptying her bladder onto the carpet.
- I have also walked on the edge of insanity at times - maybe when one of my daughters refuses to listen or cannot tell me why she is crying.
- I have experienced joy which I never felt before when Anna (or Emily or Allie) holds a smile to me which is bright enough to melt my heart.

This is just a very small sample of my experiences as a father to triplet girls. The other night, however my daughter Allie really got me good.

Sarah and I have a somewhat perfected system for bath night when Grammy is not present. The routine consists of bathing the girls one at a time – Emily first, then Allie and then Anna last. (There is a reason for that order, but I’ll save that for another post.) Sarah takes Emily directly to the bathroom with her while I contain Anna and Allie in the girls’ bedroom. Yes, “contain”. As Sarah finishes up with each of the girls, she walks them into the bedroom and we trade an unbathed girl for a bathed girl. As Allie is being bathed, I dry Emily and dress her while keeping trying to keep Anna out of trouble. This process continues until all three are dried off, dressed and their hair is combed.

Last night, I had Allie on her back on the floor, partially wrapped in one of her new Barbie bath towels. Anna was in the tub being bathed by Sarah and Emily was being her crazy self - being silly and bothering Allie while I was drying her off. As I'm positioning Allie's diaper under her bum and trying to keep Emily at bay, I feel a little wet and don't think anything of it - it must be from Allie's damp bath towel or Allie's hair. Then the "liquid" feels like a stream and I say to myself "where is that water coming from?" I moved Allie's towel aside to secure her diaper only to see (and feel) pee streaming into the air and onto me!!! She was peeing like a fountain and the fountain basin was me!

Fortunately I happen to have water resistant running clothes on and her pee wasn't the toxic yellow color it can sometimes be. In the hundreds of diaper changes I have done, being peed upon was a first!

Apparently when Sarah asked Allie about the incident, Allie mentioned having "that special feeling" (think Elmo Goes Potty DVD).

Can we do it again!?

We took the girls to Edaville Railroad yesterday for the second time - they were only a year and a half when we took them last year. Although closed for a period of years, Edaville has been around for many years and I have great memories of seeing the Christmas lights and riding the train as a kid. This year was much better for our family as the girls were able to walk on their own, eat "regular" food and go on the kiddie rides! I thought at least one of them would freak out on the ride(s), but they had a great time as this video shows:


We knew they loved it because right when the ride ended Allie said "Can we do it again!?" And yes, that was Anna attempting to stand up during the ride!

Highlights from Christmas Morning.

Here are some video highlights of our Christmas morning - this year Sarah and I got a glimpse of what Christmas will hold for our family the next few years.

Storytime with three.

With three girls under the age of 3, bedtime at our house can take over an hour. Putting on jammies, brushing teeth, runs to the "potty", hugs, reading and telling stories all add up to a fair amount time and energy (Mommy's, Daddy's and Grammy's energy, of course).

No matter how drained or grumpy we are though, we always find time to read to our girls before they get tucked in. And, just like Olivia, we always negotiate with our girls on the number of books we will read to them. The compromise is 3 books.

This video isn't the greatest caption of the level of animation our girls have shown during story time, but I do think the video does help capture some of their personalities. Enjoy and apologies for the unsteady camera!


Six weeks and then back to it.

I just counted the weeks on the calendar: I have a six week break until the second semester of what may prove to be a LONG road to an MBA starts. Six weeks without having papers to write and six weeks where I don't have to fight traffic to get to work and class after work. Ahhhh - I only have three crazy toddlers to deal with!

I'm only taking one class again next semester. I love it when people ask how many classes I am taking and they respond with a look that says "what, only one class?" And I come back with a response Sarah and I used to use quite a bit: "Have triplets and come back and talk to me then". Ha ha! That always gets a look.

Anyway, just babbling here. Not that anyone is waiting with baited breath for a blog post from me, but I do have some pretty cute video of my cuties to post! Stay tuned. Or at least stay awake.

The conversation.

About four or five weeks ago I had a conversation (one of many) with a woman expecting her first child, a baby girl. This woman did not, and still does not know, that our first daughter was born still at full-term. The conversation went something like this:


Me: How did the doctor's appointment go?


The pregnant woman: Good, I guess.


Me: No? Everything OK?

I should note that the woman had had several bad colds during her pregnancy and her body wasn't exactly handling the extra weight well. I had joked with her saying "are you sure there is only one baby in there?"


Her: Fine, it's just that the doctor mentioned the fluid level was a little low.


Me: Really? (Thinking to myself NO. Please no.)


Her: Yes. They also asked me if I've been feeling the baby move.


I don't say anything at this point, but my mind is racing a mile a minute. Her doctor used the words kick count. I am relieved at the idea that women in their third trimester are being told about kick counts. I am also selfishly pissed because maybe, just maybe, if kick counts and amniotic fluid were more closely monitored and discussed Abbey would be sleeping in her bed now and not dead.


Me (trying not to appear panicked or overly concerned): Well, when do you usually feel her kick/move? You've felt the baby move today, right?

Her: Oh, yes - I felt her this morning and she's been moving here and there. It's just one more thing for me to worry about, you know?

I'm now thinking to myself "Oh, I know" and "it is the ONE thing to worry about".

I am very happy to say that this woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl earlier this week.

Sarah and I obviously don't view pregnancies or childbirth the same way we did before our first daughter was born still. And each time I talk to someone who is expecting, especially in circumstances like the one above, I go back and forth between "maybe I should say something - maybe I should share our story" to "I don't want to scare her". So....I remain silent.

I do not utter a word.

I stop.

Time stops.

My stomach aches.

My heart is hollow.

The person keeps talking and I hear nothing.

I only think of what might have been.

My soul cries for Abbey.

Multiples weekend.

This afternoon we plan to take our girls to a Christmas party being hosted by a local non-profit organization for families with multiples. We have been members of the group for a couple of years, but this will be the first event we attend.

Sarah and I are curious as to see how the girls react while in the company of so many twins, and triplets (maybe even some quads). Our girls' reactions will be especially interesting since they spent a few hours playing with identical 18 month old girls on Friday. I find it interesting to see how multiples interact with other multiples, in general. Either way, I'm hoping this afternoon's party provides some fun for the girls - in addition to an opportunity to burn off some energy!

You'll always have the memories.

My dad passed away somewhat suddenly, at the age of 79. Among the many heartfelt words I received from friends, co-workers, and acquaintances was something said by a former colleague of mine. Ed had lost his dad also (at a much younger age, though). In the email from Ed, among other things, was the the words "You'll always have the memories, Rich". I didn't really know the true meaning of his words at the time. As time has passed (it has been over six years since my dad's passing), I have become to know the meaning of the words you'll always have the memories.

You see - I have twelve brothers and sisters - yes, my mother and father raised thirteen children! There was no reality television series on the G family. No book. We were not part of any television commercials. My mother wasn't even interviewed by the local newspaper. We just lived our lives - we formed memories, one day at a time. Camping in New Hampshire. Trips to the Cape in the summer. Weekends at a family "cottage". Christmas morning. Birthdays, which always included a cake made by "Ma" (my mother). Memories. My dad working a second job so that he could take us on vacations. Ma taking us to see The Enchanted Village at Jordan Marsh in Boston. My mom's homemade mac n' cheese on Friday nights. Watching Walt Disney on Sunday nights in our pajamas. Memories.

The meaning of those words has become clear as Sarah and I start to form memorable experiences with our daughters Allie, Anna and Emily. Amidst the sometimes tiring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes crazy life of raising our daughters, Sarah and I can at least attempt to create lasting memories for them. That's one small thing we can do. Because, unlike toys, clothes, and other "things", memories live on.

I think the most important thing my wife Sarah's blog accomplishes is that the blog seals the memories away for our family. Visiting The Enchanted Village last weekend (see Sarah's post about our trip) sparked the idea for this blog post. I am grateful to have had a childhood filled with such great memories. I pray that Sarah and I are able to pass the gift of memories along to our girls. Every child deserves that much.

Another day with my girls.

I was home with the girls on Wednesday. Although exhausted from back-to-back nights sleeping on couch cushions on the living room floor, I had a nice day with my cuties. After some cereal for breakfast, the girls went right to playing:

Emily with the Little People
Anna in the kitchen

Allie with The Little People

Later, while I was in an adjacent room, I peaked in and heard Anna saying "Ahldie (Allie) and me are blowing out the candles" It's a Doug & Melissa Birthday Cake with candles:

Mid-morning we made our way to the local grocery store. Having done this solo a couple of times now, it is a bit easier. The girls look forward to sitting in the "car" and "driving" the shopping cart. The girls also know that when Daddy takes them for a ride, they will get doughnuts. Today was no exception. Before we began shopping, I stopped at the Dunkin Donuts counter inside the grocery store. "Ten glazed munchkins, please." The girls got 3 each and I ate the remaining donut hole (as I've heard them referred to as). The girls were very well behaved and we received the usual comments from strangers - all complimentary, of course!

The girls were a bit wound up when we got home as witnessed by Emily's trick to get onto the pack n' play: I'm not sure what happened at nap, but Anna and Em were pretty much screaming when they woke up. Allie was just lying in her crib with a look that said "What do I need to do to get some sleep in this house!?" The grumpy and tired girls spent the first 45 minutes or so after nap looking like this:While they watched this guy:

I was shocked that I could get them to watch something besides Cailou(sp?) or Barney!

These pics depict some of the fun we had the remainder of the afternoon. Allie:
Anna:
Em:

Pumpkins and Playing the Drums.

As you may know from Sarah's blog, the girls had fun on their fist pumpkin patch visit a few weeks ago. The weather was nice, the pumpkin choice was decent and there were no major incidents, with the exception of some minor damage from dropped pumpkins. As you will see from this video, the girls decided to take the opportunity to practice their newly learned drumming skills.



Allie was the one who underestimated the size of that pumpkin!

My Aunt.

I didn't really think about this post and how I wanted to write it - I just felt I should write something about my mother's last surving sister passing away this morning. After being in a nursing home for a few years, she suffered a stroke last week from which she was not able to recover.

Because my Aunt Winkie never married nor have children, my twelve siblings and I were her famliy. In many ways Winkie was a typical Boston-born Irish Catholic woman who loved to socialize, sing, laugh and joke around. She also used to make batches of home-made Hires root beer at least once a year which tasted awesome!

I'll just keep this post short and simple. We love you Winkie - you will be sorely missed. Tell my dad, my daughter Abbey and Julie I will see them again.

Peace.

Imperfection.

I was home alone with the girls on Monday, Columbus Day. I consider Columbus Day a half-holiday. Half-holiday because many companies are open on that holiday and also a half-holiday because in some years I worked Columbus Day, even if my employer was closed. The second and third week in October is generally a busy time in corporate accounting - working to get the books closed and reporting completed for Q3. This Columbus Day I did not work, but Sarah did.

My day with the girls, right up until bedtime, went smooth. Too smooth. It was just too good to be true.

In the morning we had breakfast,the girls palyed together, they watched some of their TV programs - all was good. The sun was shining brightly, but it was not forecasted to be warm, so I stepped outside to check the temperature and decided the temperature was nice enough to bring the girls out to play in the yard. It was a bit cool, but the girls had fun for about an hour with the "big girl" slide, play garden tools, their swing and all their other toys.

After lunch, the girls went down fairly quietly for their 2+ hour nap, which they had not done for Sarah or me for a couple of weeks.

The hour and a half between nap and dinner was spent outside playing in the driveway, without incident. I was now three quarters through an almost perfect day with my girls.

Peapod then arrives with our groceries. (I should note that we use Peapod infrequently -about once every two to three months.) The grocery order included Ellio's Pizza, which the girls love. Ellio's pizza for dinner! All was well with Allie, Anna and Em!

A short time later the girls become ecstatic about mommy's arrival home.

Next order of business is (1)clean up, (2)put the girls to bed, (3)have our dinner and (4) go to bed. The prefect day would then be complete. Somewhere between (2) and (3) perfection becomes imperfection. The order of events between 7:45pm and 11:00pm are somewhat fuzzy but included Sarah sitting on the floor next to the girls' cribs. It also included Rich and Sarah. And then Rich. And then Sarah and Rich again. In between we each managed to scoff down some dinner.

Emily has needed a great deal of Sarah at night - both at bedtime and the middle of the night. Many a night the past 2-3 weeks Sarah and Em have slept on sofa cushions on the living room floor. That sleeping arrangement, as you can imagine, is not comfortable at all, especially for Sarah. Monday night was no exception with Emily at bedtime, but she did end up being the first to fall asleep. ALLIE WOULD JUST NOT FALL ASLEEP. We tried everything before putting her in the bed with us at about 11:00.

Somewhere around 2:00 am, on cue, Emily woke up crying. Downstairs with Emily Sarah went to sleep on the sofa cushions.

To cap off the "perfect" day, Anna woke up crying sometime around 5:00 (if my memory serves me correct). When I came downstairs later, I discovered that Sarah had pulled Anna out of her crib to join her & Em on the sofa cushions for the remainder of the morning.

The 24 hours of imperfection ended sometime before 7:00 am with the arrival of Grammy and our departure to work about a half an hour later .

Things have gotten S L O W L Y better as the week has progressed, but I think we have a way to go. Actually, don't tell anyone, but Sarah & I are making plans so that each of the girls has their own room! Stay tuned....

Important to some.

Before the Red Sox - Angels playoff series began, I saw the headline of a story on a local news website that read something like "Get ready to be sleepy...". Reading the headline, I thought the writer of the article was going to talk about how he thought the Sox - Angels series would be boring and therefore Sox viewers would be sleepy . The writer in fact was talking about the start time of the games - 9:30ish pm on the east coast. The writer assumed that Red Sox fans would be up late at night watching the games. Not me.

I don't remember when exactly my priorities changed - but they did. I, for the most part, go to bed if I am tired. I do not stay up late to see who wins the game. Sarah will not wake up at midnight to discover I am downstairs awaiting the final out of a baseball game or for the final tick of the clock of a Patriots game.

Don't get me wrong - I've had my share of late nights watching professional sports. Yes, I've seen MANY of the Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots celebrations over the years. I've lived my entire life in the Boston area and have my share of stories. Whether the story is about sitting a few rows in front of Danny Ainge and Dennis Johnson at a concert or a story standing in line for hours to get Larry Bird's autograph. I have great memories of watching Celtics games with my dad (God rest his soul) and my brothers. I saw the Celtics play at the old Boston Garden - I saw The Chief, Kevin McHale, LB & company at their best. I am a sports fan, but something has changed.

It kind of irritates me now when I am at a party, wedding, or some other social event and guests "sneak away" to catch the score of the game or to watch a game. Give me a break. I've heard it said it's "passion for the game". I don't get it. I consider myself somewhat passionate about running but you won't see me change into running shorts and my Saucony shoes to get a run in during a Christmas party. P L E A S E.

Some may say I am an old fart. I think I've just gotten better at choosing what is meaningful in life.

With all that said, GO SOX!

Yes, I do run.

The title of the blog assumes I am a runner, correct? Well, you wouldn't think I was much of a runner by reading my posts the past few months. But yes, I do consider myslef a runner even though the past 2.5 years my running has been sporadic, at best. So, I thought I would post some evidence to support my claim that I do, literally, run with triplets.

Left to right - Allie, Emily and Anna.

How 'bout those legs?


You may notice the white armband on my right arm - it reads Abbey. My mother in-law Sheila sewed it for me to wear - I wear it whenever I run outside.

The only thing I don't like about these pictures is that Anna's eye is swollen from the mosquito incident.
The girls' total weight is about over 65 lbs now. Their increase in weight, combined with my increase in age has contributed to a slower pace as of late!


Do you think we get much attention on the street? Just a little.

Our Five Year Wedding Anniversary.

Today is our 5 Year wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Sarah!


Our life then was a balanced mix of time with family, friends, and each other. We worked, we traveled, and we talked about what our future might look like. The only major stressor for us at the time was the renovating of our home - a Colonial/Victorian house built in the lat 1800's. We both wanted to be parents, but neither of us had a definitive time plan on when that would happen. We were, pretty much, typical newlyweds.


Fast forward - 2009:
The stress of renovating the old house in many ways seems like decades ago. After a year we learn Sarah is pregnant with our first child.
June 2006: Abigail comes into the world still.
Months later, "in an odd twist of fate" (Sarah's words), I hear the words "...I see three babies" from the technician conducting the ultrasound on Sarah's tummy.
Within minutes after learning of our daughters, we learn of a birth defect called spina bifida.
I believe adversity can either tear apart or strengthen a relationship. Sarah and I have had our share of struggles. We, of course, have also been blessed. Our life is not easy, nor without heartache. There, of course, is also an abundance of love and joy in our family.
Our wedding songs were Happy To Be Stuck With You by Huey Lewis (no joke) and Edwin McCain's I Could Not Ask For More. Well, I could not ask for more.
Happy Anniversary, hon.

Video: Two years ago.

I feel as though I do not have a shortage of topics to blog about, but nevertheless, the lapses between my posts will likely continue for awhile. My first MBA class is all about the team, which equates to more time requirements than your typical grad level class. Oh - that's right, there are my daughters too - they require a little of my time. ;)

Videos continue to be my post of choice - Sarah takes enough pictures for the two of us!
This is a brief video of the girls before they were able to crawl. I just want to mention that everyone used to comment that our girls looked like dolls when they were babies and I never really saw them that way. But, looking back, I know what they meant!

Our "dolls", from left to right: Anna, Emily and Alicenne. Enjoy.

Our weekend, abridged version and video clips from the zoo.

This weekend went by in a blink of an eye, but for us, it contained a whole bunch of everything.

Sarah and I had two nights of not good sleep. Again. Oh well. Allie has not been a happy camper at all with molars coming in. Em has been Em at night - waking up crying and/or whining at odd hours.

I may be getting a cold - runny nose and sneezing a lot. Both Sarah and I have sore backs - the product of being the parents of two year old triplets. Not good.

The fun part of the weekend was FREE ice cream at a local ice cream chain on Saturday and it wasn't chaos. We were actually able to get three high chairs, sit and enjoy an ice cream! The bonus was the girls were VERY well behaved.

Fun, Part II was the beach today. Sarah took a boat-load of photos which I am sure you will see on her blog this week. The weather was near perfect today and the girls had a blast! It was our third beach trip and so far, each trip seems to go better than the previous. Sarah and I are absolutely exhausted. I don't see how the girls won't sleep well tonight.

The video clip is from our day at the zoo a few weeks ago. Nothing too exciting about the video, just a chance to see my cuties in action!


Soft as a marshmallow.

I came to the realization sometime ago - probably in my early twenties, that I was a fairly sensitive person, especially for a guy. After last weekend, I may have to replace "sensitive" with "marshmallow".

Yes, the weekend did contain a family wedding, but must I become teary-eyed at every opportunity for emotion?

Sarah and I traveled out of state to attend my niece's wedding on Sunday. Circumstances are not such that we have the luxury of doing an overnight trip as a couple yet, with or without the girls. So, we took the 2+ hour drive to a nice setting on a beautiful lake. It was nice. It was my niece. But it wasn't my daughter getting married. I love my niece like I love all my family, but I haven't spent a lot of time with her. I don't know her husband very well. I'm in my early forties. I've been to tons of weddings. No need for me to get emotional, right?

"It's time for the bride to dance with her dad..." says the DJ. So...my brother Ed, about 4 years my senior, escorts my niece onto the dance floor for the traditional father-daughter dance. I think it was a Rascal Flats song - I cannot recall. I get up from the table as I feel I don't want to miss seeing these few minutes of time. I am a marshmallow. I watch my older brother dance with his only daughter and I began to get teary-eyed.

Of my other 20+ nephews and nieces, I had seen four of them get married before my niece, but this is the first time one of my brothers gave away his daughter. That must have been it. My brothers and I are getting older. I will be taking the place of my brother Ed before I know it, right? That's why I was so emotional. I am not a marshmallow, just a sensitive guy.

Video: Quack Quack On The Piano

Several months ago I was surfing Amazon for a CD of nursery rhyme songs for the girls and came upon Classic Nursery Rhymes sung by Susie Tallman & Friends. It got great reviews by those who had purchased and rated the CD. (I am a HUGE Amazon fan, be the way. I started using it regularly several months ago and it is now the first place I look if I am doing any non-clothing related shopping.)

So I purchased the CD. The first song on the dISC is Six Little Ducks - a song I either had never heard before, or do not remember from my childhood. The latter is most likely true. Upon hearing the song, Sarah's mom informed me that Sarah had actually sung it in a pre-school recital.

While watching this video, you may be able to decipher QUACK QUACK coming out of the girls mouths. Em is in pigtails, Allie in the Tax Deduction onsie and Anna is in a diaper only. Anna's crazy hair helps make the video even funnier! I should also mention that since we purchased the disc, almost every night at bedtime, Allie has been saying "...I WANT QUACK QUACK MUSIC..!"

So...without further delay, I introduce my girls "performing" Six Little Ducks on Sarah's piano.

Picture from a year ago.

Sarah's post yesterday got me thinking bout how much the girls change from day to day, week to week, and year to year. Here's a pic from September 2008:



That's all for tonight. This week has been particularly draining for Sarah & me so I have not the energy nor brain cells for anything more.

Good night.

Sweet as Cinnamon French Toast.

It became official this week that I am a real dad. The day went like this:

The girls were up a little early, which meant that they were sitting in their chairs having Aunt Jemimah Cinnamon French Toast Sticks for breakfast when it was time for Sarah & I to leave for work. If they are awake, Sarah and I will say our good-byes with a kiss and a "...going to work for the man..." or "...gotta catch the train...".

Emily was first in the line-up so I leaned over and gave her a kiss on the forehead - she kicked her legs in excitement and smiled that "Emily" smile. Then it was bye-bye to Allie, who decided to offer a hug to daddy. Thank you Allie. As I moved on to Anna, Allie said something to me which I couldn't quite understand. No time to ask Allie what she meant - back to Anna. Another beaming smile from a happy Anna. Bye -bye girls.

Sarah & I jump in to the car to begin our commute... To the train station. park the car. get on the train. get off the train. walk to the office and...on with my work day.

At some point, hours after leaving the house, I'm sitting at my desk and notice something kind of crumbly on my shoulder which I brush off, thinking it kind of odd, but no biggie.

This day is a great day for a run and my employer provides a workout room on my floor which includes two separate private showers - I often take advantage of this perc by either using the treadmill or running outside during my lunch "hour". I decide to go for a run today.

As I am putting my work clothes into the locker, I notice something on my shirt. I investigate and discover the mysterious substance on my shirt to be the cinnamon sugar from the french toast the girls had for breakfast! I guess what Allie was trying to tell me in the morning was that she had put cinnamon sugar on me when she gave me a hug!

I could have cared less that I walked around with food on my shirt all morning. The smile and joy this little episode brought to my day was priceless! Sweet as cinnamon!

Short and Sweet.

I have a few ideas for posts tonight, which is unusual for me. BUT, I have some reading to do for my first graduate level class tomorrow night so I do not have time to do a full posting.

I am returning to my undergraduate alma mater in hopes of attaining an MBA. I'll just say that it should be interesting. In the orientation last week, the assistant dean was reading off stats about the class of 166 students. One of which was "...years of experience range is zero to 21 years...". I have 20+ years of work experience, so I guess I am going to be the old-timer of the class!

Like I said, it will be interesting.

The first days.

Sarah and I personally know about six families who have, or will be welcoming a baby soon. Among those, Sarah's youngest brother and his wife (baby girl), and one of my younger brothers and his wife (baby boy) both had their first child. As one would imagine, these births get us thinking back to both of Sarah's deliveries.


We are fortunate to have some video clips of the Allie, Anna and Emily's first few days with us. In this video, the girls are about a week old and are visiting Anna at the hospital who had yet to be discharged (after her second surgery). Left to Right - Allie, Anna, and Emily.




It's a Boy!

My brother Don's wife delivered a baby boy this morning. Sarah and I were happy to hear that their baby and our sister-in-law are doing well.


This evens the playing field for my mom. In addition to her 13 children, she has now had 26 grandchildren - 13 girls and 13 boys!

Are they always this good?

Our girls are generally very well behaved when they are out in public. For example, I took the girls with me grocery shopping on Monday and they were having a great time. Em and Allie were seated next to each other in the "car" part of the shopping cart while Anna sat in the regular cart seat. Allie and Em spent most of the time hugging each other and singing Barney's I Love You (that may not be the title, but that's what I call the song). It was priceless. So, an employee at the grocery store starts with the questions. Among the questions was "Are they always this good?" The obvious answer to that question is NO, of course. They are not always this good, but they are good girls.

I caught a episode of sisterly love on video a few weeks ago. The girls have a ton of play kitchen stuff, including a favored slotted spoon. Emily had the slotted spoon and Allie wanted it. Enough said.

You'll hear Anna's voice as she watched the scene through the video camera's viewfinder - she loves to watch whenver I am recording!


A long time.

I've found that a long time has changed for me over the years. What used to be a long time is now a flash of time.

I remember talking to a friend years ago. Tom is his name. Tom had reached a milestone of sorts - I believe it was twenty years. I asked him what twenty years felt like. You have to know Tom is a guy a few years my senior - old enough to be my dad, actually. Tom has also been a man full of wisdom and strong character. Tom looked at me and said "...it feels like I was shot out of a cannon.."

I knew what Tom meant that day and I still remember today what he meant. I reached a milestone of my own today and I have to say twenty years doesn't feel like a long time. I do, in some ways, feel like Tom felt back then - it feels like I was "shot out a cannon". Twenty years is not such a long time.

Abigail would have been three years, two months and twenty seven days old today. In many ways Abigail's birth was a long time ago...in many ways it was like yesterday.

It's been twenty five years since I graduated high school - now that's a LONG time ago.

Today came and went just like most days seem to do lately. That's why I try to live my life ONE DAY AT A TIME.

A look back on bathtime.

If you are a regular follower, you know Sarah takes 95% of our family's still photos. I take 95% of the video. Therefore, you'll see mostly video on my blog, mostly still shot on Sarah's blog.

This is a video of each of the girls getting a bath back in November 2007. The girls were just about seven months old. It's amazing how much of the girls' personalities showed at 7 months. Enjoy.

What I learned today.

"You Learn Something New Everyday."

Have you heard that saying? Has anyone ever said that to you? Well, there is both wisdom and truth to that statement.

In no particular order, here are a couple things I learned today:

My niece Julie, who died at the age of 13, could have been buried at Arlington National Cemetery (my brother in-law served our country and Julie was not yet 18 when she passed).

The movie Gone Baby Gone is based on a book.

There are other people, besides Sarah & me, who can speak our angel Abigail's name and not be uncomfortable with it.

Jason Varitek and Normar Garciapara were roomates in college.

Jason V. played in the Little League World Series, College World Series and The World Series.

I cannot stay up late at night. I am old.

Fast Cars.

As things are, our girls spend a lot of time in one room in our house. Because of this, and the fact that we have had a mosquito issue in our back yard, Sarah suggested we purchase some age-appropriate ride-on toys for Allie, Anna and Em to play with in our driveway (away from the mosquitos).

During our staycation week, we took a trip to Toys R Us. After some discussion, we came home with three different ride-ons: a Crazy Coop, Toddler Toon Coupe (very similar to Crazy Coop), and the third is called Little Mermaid Ariel Big Wheel. I assembled the Crazy Coupe first, during one of those hot and humid days we had - so much fun. Two days later we had all three ready to roll!

I'll pass on doing a complete review of the three cars, but I will say that we got a good value on the purchases. After redeeming some TRS credit card dollars, the total purchase was about $125. The only other thing worth mentioning is that the Ariel big wheel blows bubbles and it also plays music and makes sounds which are LOUD (and there is no volume adjustment).

What ever happened to just a plain Big Wheel - are those still made? I got something called a Cheetah (check out this blog on the cheetah!) as a gift when I was a kid. It was awesome - I could blow away any kid in a Big Wheel!!

Anyway, the girls are not tall enough to pedal Ariel, but the bottom line is they like riding their new toys. On a daily basis one of them says "...pay in dryway!" = "play in driveway"!

Pigs in a Blanket.

Sarah and I are always trying to think of new foods to introduce to our girls. Foods that they will eat. Foods they will like.

Sarah had heard moms speak about how their kids loved pigs in a blanket (basically little hot dogs wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls). Sounded great. "Our kids will love these" we thought. So, a couple of weeks ago Sarah made them for the girls. Here is a video clip of the event. Emily on far right, Allie and then Anna on left:

I think Emily enjoyed her dippy more then the piggies. Allie tried the piggies, but they were not a huge hit with her either. Anna, as can imagine, liked them! We'll try them another time.

The garden.

With the girls turning two this past spring, we have found that we are able to now do some things we haven't been able to do since they were born. One of those things is to start a garden.

Our garden is not a garden we boast about. The garden hasn't had the nurturing nor the time required of a garden which yields a good harvest. Our garden isn't necessarily even appealling to the eye.

Our garden is a garden which is survivng, though. It has gotten just enough attention to allow the plants to grow, but not quite enough attention for all the plants to thrive.


Our garden is the garden of a family where the parents have two-year old triplets and where both parents work full-time jobs.

We will be lucky if 40 percent of this year's seeds produce a vegetable. But, I bet next year more than 40 percent will produce. And the year after that, the soil will be richer and yield an even greater harvest. More time spent fertilizing, turning and caring for the soil will ultimately reap greater results.


In April the garden was nothing but grass and dirt. It's not much more than grass and dirt now, but it is a garden.


I can see the beauty amongst the dirt and weeds, can you?

The week that was Anna.

I was thinking about what we did with the girls on my vacation last week and specifically thinking about my daughter Anna. She was mostly a source of joy, but a little frustration also.

The start of the vacation week was the Falmouth Road Race - I was running to support my daughter Anna and others with Spina Bifida. Sarah, Anna, Allie, Emily, my mother, two of my sisters and one of my cousins were at mile 5. I was able to stop and say hello to my girls and Sarah was able to get a photo of me giving Anna a smooch (see August 11 post). Emotional moment.

Later in the week Anna was the recipient of a few timeouts (imposed by daddy) for throwing a plate of food and disobeying several directives to stay in her room.

The latter part of our vacation week included a trip back to the Cape for a day at the beach. All the girls had a blast, but I was especially surprised and impressed with Anna. She loved the ocean - she would get blasted by water, then laugh, cough out any water she swallowed and then want more of the ocean! I was able to hold her, swing her around, dunk her up to her waist and just have fun. A memory to last a lifetime. Sarah's mom was able to capture that moment of us:

Before the mosquitos.

We had most of our yard fenced in this spring to allow the girls to play safely. Fencing in the yard was money well spent - it has been great. However, for the past few weeks, the mosquitos in the yard have been absolutely ruthless so we limited time in the backyard this week.

I was reviewing some video of the girls playing in the yard - before the fence and the mosquitos. There is nothing special or super-exciting about the video clip. I just find it amazing to see how much the girls have developed since the video was shot about 4 months ago.



P.S. - My comment "good job Anna" was for Anna standing up to her sisters who, can sometimes take advantage of Anna's passiveness!

Just thinking.

Mike Barnicle, for many years, had a column in The Boston Globe. He would periodically write a column titled I Was Just Thinking....

I Was Just Thinking
  • I'm not going to do a part two of my last post The Second Sunday In August.

  • I heard the Patriots are playing tonight - news to me.

  • Is Kevin Youk's charging of the mound going to have the same end result for the Red Sox as Jason Varitek's tackling episode did in '04?

  • Sarah and I really do have our hands full.

  • I am a lucky man.

  • What is it like to be an identical triplet?

  • My new saying to Sarah is we are doing the best we can.

  • I am extremely tired.

  • Will my life ever be "normal" again?

  • We have received a ***tload of rain this year.

  • There has been an equal amount of mosquitos this year.

  • Why can't anyone tell us what the odds of having identical triplets really is?

  • I know why so many strangers tell Sarah & I that our daughters are adorable:


The Second Sunday of August.

For the past fourteen years I have known exactly where I would be at 10:00 a.m on the 2nd Sunday of August - the Falmouth Road Race. (the race changed from the third Sunday to the second Sunday several years ago.) If you are unfamiliar with Falmouth, it is located on Cape Cod, a short ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard and a favored vacation spot in the summer for locals and travelers alike.

This year I ran for the third time as a father to triplets and it was my first year running for the Spina Bifida Association (I had run previously to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation). In addition, I was running on the least amount of sleep I had ever had before a race as our girls woke up screaming at 4:00 a.m. More details on our wonderful Sunday morning are forthcoming in Sarah's blog.

Anna,the second oldest of my daughters has spina bifida - my reason for running Falmouth for SBAMass. Here's a pic of me giving her a smooch just before mile 5:

After seeing my girls, I continued on my run and found myself overwhelmed with emotion. Another first: tears while running. The tears were of gratitude for what I have in my life. I have three beautiful, adorable, loving girls to come home to every day. And I have a wife who gives all her energy, time and love to our family. On Sunday morning Sarah, like me, could have stayed home. She had every reason to bail. Who would want to feed, dress and pack three toddlers for an early Sunday morning drive when you have been up since 4:00 a.m.? I think many parents wouldn't have done it. Thank you, hon for pulling it together and being there. It means everything to me.

I am exhausted (what else is new) and need to continue this post tomorrow.

Good night.

Simple fun.

I think Saturday was one of the best days we've had all summer around these parts. I did not hestitate to take the girls outside to play while Sarah caught up on some much needed sleep. After Friday's fiasco, the girls slept until about 8:00 am yesterday morning.

Allie, Anna, Em & I had fun hanging out. They played with their water table, which they absoulelty LOVE and I enjoyed a cup of coffee while keeping an eye on them. It was a pleasant change from Friday when I was trying to survive at the office.

Like I said, the girls played well, laughed a lot, and said some very surprising and funny things! I captured a moment with my phone camera. The quality of the photo isn't great, but I think my girls' smiles make the picture a keeper!

Anna is pushing Emily from the back while Allie assists on the right.

Disaster.

So much for normal sleep.

All was good (I think) until 3:00 this morning. Screaming. Sarah goes into the girls' room to assess and put out the fire. Doesn't happen. 45 minutes pass - they are all still awake. Sarah returns to bed. We wait it out to see if they fall asleep. No go.

Fast forward to now (6:15 am). Anna and Allie have been downstairs with me since about 5:15. I don't think either of them have closed their eyes much after 3:30 am. I know I haven't. The good news is that Em is sleeping in her crib and Sarah is locked in the bedroom "napping" before we begin our commute to work.

I have a meeting first thing this morning which I need to prepare for when I get to the office - not a Friday to look forward to. We are on vacation next week. I guess that is something to look forward to because it seems all else has been disastrous lately.

Could it be?

Could tonight be the night that we return to some type of normal sleep?
It is 9:15 and ALL the girls have been asleep for at least 15 minutes.

Allie was the last to go down after about a half hour of whining/crying. Poor Allie has had a tough couple of weeks, which you probably know from Sarah's blog. Last night was better, but still difficult. Allie ended up falling asleep next to me in the rocker. That's right, she was propped up, but cuddled, next to me in the chair when she finally dozed off at about 9:30. It was then on to Anna, who had been watching "the show" ie watching me and Allie the whole time and would periodically stand up and say "wheah Allie!?". I would respond with a firm, yet quiet "she is right here SLEEPING". Anyway, I picked up Allie (dead weight) and placed her in her crib to a little whimper. Allie was out. I spent the next half hour with Anna until she dozed off. 10:00ish I left the girls' room after being in there for almost an hour and a half.

They slept most of the night after that until Sarah and I were awoken at 4:00 am (Allie) and again at about 5:15 am (Emily). Sarah saved us in both instances without any major casualties.

We are exhausted and I am running the Falmouth Road Race (www.falmouthroadrace.com) on Sunday. I am tempted, as I was last year, to put a sign on me that says "I have two-year-old triplets, what's YOUR excuse?" I'll do a post next week about Sunday's race, which has special meaning to me, for a variety of reasons. Here's the girls hanging out at the race last year waiting for me and the 9,ooo other runners:






The quick route.

The past week or so I have felt the way I did the months following the girls' birth - burnt out, anxious, TIRED, and on edge. Em wasn't feeling well and then Allie became sick. Because of this, I have not had any "free time" for blog posts.

So...I am taking the easy route tonight and posting a video clip.

The clip is from two weeks ago when we introduced a sprinkler to the girls for the first time. The girls had more fun with it when the water was shut off!

Lucky Man.

This post is not directly related to a book I read several years ago by Michael J. Fox titled Lucky Man. It is, however indirectly related. The book is a good read and I think most people agree he is the kind of man most aspire to be.

I have to give a little background by saying it has been an emotional couple of weeks for Sarah & I. Sleep deprivation, long hours for Sarah at work, three teething toddlers, combined with some of the everyday stresses has put us both on the edge mentally and emotionally.

Anyway, we took the girls for dinner last night to The Outback, and similar to my grocery shoppingexcursion with the girls, dinner went VERY well. I will let Sarah tell the story, I just wanted to comment on a tiny piece of the evening.

While we were waiting to settle the bill (and for Anna to finish eating -what else is new), I was admiring my beautiful girls' smile and turn heads. I was feeling grateful for what I had in my life, but also, at the same time, sad for what I did not have - Abbey. It was a weird mix of emotion which I cannot put into words. Other patrons who were seated near us were paying their bills and going home - many stopping to say hello to the girls, make comments, or to simply smile.

An older gentlemen, walking with a cane, who was probably born a few years after my dad, stopped at the table to say hello. Before I continue, I must tell you that I believe older generations have a whole lot of wisdom to share. The gentleman looked me in the eye when he spoke to me. He smiled a smile that told me he had lived a fruitful life filled with all that life has to offer. With humility and pride, he briefly told me about his family. The entire time he was leaning over the table talking, the girls were looking at him - Em was kicking her legs as she does when she is excited, Allie dipping her fingers in ketchup and shyly turning her head away - Anna was being Anna with that "not a care in the world" smile.

Before the gentleman turned his back to join his wife of many years, he turned to me one more time. He then looked me in the eye and said "you are a lucky man". I knew exactly what he meant when he said that to me.

We had barely made it out of the parking lot before Sarah & I were in tears. That is because only Sarah & I know how this feels.

Maybe I am a lucky man.

A First.

I had a successful trip taking all three grils to the local Stop & Shop today by myself!


If you follow Sarah's blog (http://thegreatumbrellaheist.blogspot.com/), you know the last couple of weeks have not been too good in terms of sleep for the girls. So, this morning, when Sarah went back to get some additional sleep, I told her I may take the girls grocery shopping. Her reply, after giving one of those "why" looks, was "how"? "How" and "why" are questions Sarah & I ask each other quite often when it comes to things related to our girls.

The answer for how to bring two year-old triplets grocery shopping by youself is to find one of those shopping carts with a two-driver car attached to the front. Two in the front and the third sits in the shopping cart seat. The answer to "why" is that I wanted to help everyone keep thier sanity this morning. It would give Sarah a chance to get some shut-eye, give me the chance to get out and it would also help the girls by getting them out as well, especially given the teething situation.

Things could not have worked out better. For those non-mutliple parents, the trick to doing grocery shopping with triplets is to locate the shopping cart with the car in the parking lot so you do not have to concern yourself with trecking three little ones across a busy parking lot. I eyed one as I pulled in - it was sitting nicely in one of those cart corrals. Bingo! Next step, after loading them in the cart, is to give them a donut - check! The bonus would have been if I could have carried my coffee with me, but that was just not logistically possible.

With the exception of some semi-rough play between the drivers (Allie & Em), the girls were well behaved. They were actually singing Barney's "I love you" song at one point.

All in all in was quite a successful first.

DOG DAY OF SUMMER

My day started at 1:15 am when Allie woke up crying. She kept crying/ whining so we went with plan A. Plan A didn't work so Sarah came in for plan B, which didn't work either. Anna and Em woke up at this point. Three crying toddlers at 1:45 am is not good.

Long story short is that I saw 2:15, 3:15, 4:15 and 5:30 on the clock. I got some sleep in between, but not much. 5:30 am = sun rise = Emily wakes up. (She ended up in bed with me sometime during our middle-of -the night fun.) Efforts to get Em to go back to sleep were futile so downstairs we went before 6:00 am to hang out, play and watch a little Barney. We actually ended up having some QT together, even though we were both exhausted.

It is 9:45 pm now and Allie finally went down about 1/2 hour ago. She is not having a good time - I think it may be molars? I just don't know. I mentioned to Sarah tonight maybe we need to get The Nanny over here. Are we doing something wrong or is it just teething? The girls just DO NOT go down easy.

I am going to have myself an ice cream treat and call it a day. Let's hope for a more restful night tonight.

I'm back.


I think I may give my blog a little life in the coming weeks. Things have slowed down a bit and will be until September and I feel the need to share some of what it is like raising our family.


Stay tuned.


Running away with triplets.

I've decided to discontinue posting to my blog. The reasons are multiple, but the major reason is time. I've decided I would like to replace the time I've used creating posts with other things.

Thanks to those who have taken time to read my posts and those who have left comments also.

Sarah, as you know, continues with her blog. (She does mention my name here and there - LOL.)

I may re-open at a later point in time, I'm just not sure yet. Until then, all the best.

Pictures.

I was looking through some photos last night...this is Anna last year, stretching to play a tune:


This picture was taken in the morning, after an overnight snowfall. The lighting is off, but I still like the photo because the girls' curiosity is obvious.

Not want we wanted to hear.

I took Anna to see her pediatrician this morning - today's visit was to check her weight and get the two shots. Her weight was a concern of the pedi the last visit.

We decided I would take Anna and go into work late. Sarah also went into work a little later than usual because we also had someone coming to fix one of our kitchen cabinets, which was basically falling off the wall (future post). Anyway...off to the pedi Anna & I went.

We got there almost 2o minutes early, took our time getting into the office, and we were actually there before the pedi. I don't think we had gone up 5 or 6 steps until Anna figured out what was going on - she wasn't too thrilled, but was immediately distracted by the toys in the waiting area.
Good morning, sir - how are you?" said Mr. Pedi.
"Good thanks, you?", I said.
"Good, weight check today?"
"Yes, plus she needs a couple of shots."
"Right."
"Okay, down to diaper and I'll be right back."
We put Anna on scale - 19 lbs and xx ounces.
"Put her back on, let's try again".
Same reading.
Doc tells me her weight actually decreased since last visit. I think to myself, "no way". It was extremely identical to the scene a couple of months ago when Anna goes to see her urologist for a check-up and he finds a hernia. I'm kind of in shock because Anna chows - she eats well. Anyway...Mr Pedi wants to hook us up with the ____ Nutrition doctors at ____. Great, another set of doctors for Anna to see. Not want we want to hear.

I ask him a question or two, he gives me his answer(s). He hands me a slip of paper with the orders for the blood work. I think to myself "how much is too much for my little Anna?"

Yes, Sarah & I are extremely grateful that Anna is doing VERY well. Yes, her condition, given the prognosis given at the first ultrasound and the first few months, is much much better than the doctors had thought. But, I'm not sure there is any pain worse than the heartache I feel. Anna now has to come face to face with a new doctor's office, the unfamiliarity of a stranger examining and probing her. AGAIN.

It kills me. I hate it.

Hopefully this is the last time we hear words from a doctor that we don't want to hear.

(For the record, Sarah and I are not overly concerned with Anna being a little under weight at this point. However, we have, and will continue to, put our trust in the half dozen or so doctors who have helped our little Anna for the past 22+ months.)

The Grammys and Justin T.

This is going to be a fairly short post because:

  1. I am getting old, need my sleep and need to get to bed early tonight.

  2. The Grammys are on and I want to catch some of the show.

I started this post after watching Justin Timberlake perform with Al Green, which I thought was pretty good. Justin's introduction of Al Green was pretty lame, though. What was with the "General Store" joke, anyway?

There was a Grammy special the other night hosted by Katie Couric - did you see it? Couric interviewed Justin Timberlake. While watching the interview, I said to Sarah "I don't get him (Justin T.) - he does nothing for me...he has no character, etc." Sarah's response was "...well, he is 26, hon - you are 4o something - what do you think?" and "...not many performers have done what he has done at his age..." "...I am not questioning his success..." was my response. I know he is extremely successful, etc. My problem was him, not his success. What does he do, what makes him tick?

Well, it turns out Timberlake is a golfer, a pretty damn good golfer, actually. I love to golf and believe there is something to be said about a man who golfs. So, as we continued to watch the Katie C. special, they had my attention. It also turns out, Timberlake sponsors a golf tournament every year to benefit The Shriner's Hospital - now I can at least say Justin T. does something besides make money and perform.

Then tonight, he did what I thought was a great rendition of Let's Stay Together with Al Green. You have to admit most performances on the awards shows are all lights and distractions and the vocals and performances are usually lame. Tonight's Al Green and Justin Timberlake performance was a nice change from the sorry stuff I've seen on TV lately. So Justin T. is okay in my book, but I will take Al Green's music over Timberlake's.

On a somewhat related note - I saw Whitney Houston, who presented Jennfier Hudson with a grammy tonight, perform at The Berklee Performance Center many years ago - back when she released her self-titled album (late 80's?). It was a great show - Whitney had an incredible voice and gave a very memorable performance that night.

I feel bad for Whitney. Are her and Bobby Brown still together? I always thought Bobby was the bad apple that ruined Whitney. But, I heard from someone who knew Bobby B. (and the other members of New Edition also), that Whitney was no princess herself!.

Enough gossip for tonight - gotta catch some more of the Grammy awards before catching some zzz's.