Aug 31, 2008

Rings around the Rosies

What a delightful after dinner treat.

Super duper mom

I am getting so brave in my goldening mama years. Such a seasoned parent I am becoming. Somewhere inside of me I finally found the courage to start venturing out in public, alone, except for the triplets. I even took them grocery shopping--twice now. First time after the store, I got tired, nervous, I thought we should go home, but I kept going and even strolled the mall and dined at the food court with triplets in tow (gosh, how mom-like of me). I swear the boys behaved better that day than they normally do when both Jerry and I share the experience. The trick is, I had two securely strapped in the double stroller (and never let them out) and Bereket in my sling, and a leash for when he finally wanted to run free, and an endless stream of granola bars (kids and dogs aren't much different). Those grocery carts do not work for us; my boys slip out of the belts and stand up to jump into my arms. I guess my back up plan, in case the boys do get free and run wild, start yelling security!

The second time I had Tsega and Bereket strapped in (Tsega always and Bereket was getting spoiled and wild being the free one) and little Sira sat on top of the double. He was great, but remember, never let go of stroller or the heavy top weight will tip it backwards.

Of course I must look the sight! I just put this face on that says: hey, I’m cool, nothing going on here, having so much fun, under perfect control, *yawn*. Most people walk by us with the same nonchalance: I don't see anything unusual, no, I'm not staring. I love it when little kids blurt out to mom: Mom! Look at all those babies! Really, this is a break through for me.

Now you are laughing and shaking your heads (especially you Chicago folks--you know who you are you cupcake freaks, always going cool places!). Poor lady, never gets out, cooped up with triplets, what a wimp. Or, poor baby boys, stifled by that crazy hermit mom and stuck in Kansas. You'd think many acres of country would be enough to entertain three small boys, even though it ain't enough for one coon hound (our lovely Clementine). Truth is, the boys always want to go somewhere in the van, anywhere. And since it makes naps go dreamily along, let's go the park. Anything to avoid grumpy faces.

Shared Art

Bereket created it, I captured its image. His was original, mine was found, together it's shared art. OK, so I was just excited to figure out my camera better and discover black and white. During my discovery Bereket crossed over into waking and I let him loose in the kitchen drawer.

Aug 24, 2008

The End (of Confinement)

Yes, dear readers, I have been keeping a secret. I tried to suppress and prolong, but I now must face reality and say it out loud. It is with utmost mourning and resistance that I announce the end of cribs--all 3 of them. A major symbol of babyhood is now lost forever. Bedtime routine, once again, is under construction (I'm flexible if they are). But more importantly, gone are the days of confinement. You really know your babies are big kids when one is suddenly standing over you in the middle of the night.

It started with a little innocent crib climbing. Then I was finding Tsega asleep on the floor, usually under Bereket's crib. Seriously, Tsega prefers to camp on the floor under cribs (weird!). Then Bereket got a fire in his pants and morphed into a big trouble maker, running all over the room and finally getting tackled and trampled during so-called naps. And, finally, Sira decided crib no more.

For a few dreadful days (or weeks if I'm being honest) sleep was topsy-turvy and I didn't how to handle it (my tears didn't seem to help). Nobody would stay put and too much wrestling instead of sleeping. Honestly, it's not safe leaving three rowdy toddler boys to their own.

Though we're still in transition and the boys are staying up way too late (darn sun, come on, who can sleep when it still beckons you for more play), they are doing well and actually sleeping. I mean they actually, most nights, go to bed and stay there! Well, OK, so we're only expecting just two (Sira with Tsega) to sleep in the nursery right now with one (Bereket) in our bedroom. (Twins really are easier than triplets.) No big boy beds yet; instead we put our floor mattresses in their room. For nap--and let me first say that I intensely fear that Tsega will grow out of naps soon--we do the same except as long as there's light and he is free, Bereket will not sleep. But there is one trick. I put the other two to bed and after much tiptoeing and self-crossing I come back for B and put him in the high chair. I set him up with a blanket and book and face him away from me and start cleaning the lunch mess. Within minutes he's out and I can put him in my bed. I think the nanny has her own routine (she keeps telling me they sleep); whatever works, do it.

There is one cool thing from all this. It's easier for me to lay with the boys as I tuck them in and kiss their eyelids, and stroke their big foreheads. And it makes my stomach tickle when it's morning and I hear little foot steps and a door knob turning and see a little body coming out all by himself. And I shouldn't complain because we are actually sleeping in more some days. Eight a.m. wake ups are heaven.

Special thanks to Sira who, currently, is the best little sleeper, so still and willing to lay down, even if he is always the first awake. Please, oh please, hold onto your naps dear boys (at least until you turn 4) or I quit.

Aug 23, 2008

Monkey See, Monkey Don't

While I find zoos a place of torment for those unlucky to find themselves behind the bars and walls, especially if the habitat is replicated poorly and animal is alone, pacing, or bored (or in Kansas), they are nevertheless blessings to families and babies. Our favorite and most feared (beside the rhinos who usually pee on us), is, of course, the primates. Feared because it is hard watching these near-humans caged, so far removed from their native habitat, looking into those thoughtful humanoid eyes; and also because at least one baby always gets scared. Favorite because they are monkeys, after all, and they love scooting up to the glass to tease (and it's fun watching baby get scared by monkey).

Speaking of monkeys, the 'monkey see, monkey do' thing is sooo Sira. This kid is hilarious as he copies and mimics everything. Like if somebody falls and gets a boo boo (most falls get left without crying--it's a triplet thing), he'll fake fall down and fake cry and point to a fake boo boo. I've got a million examples, but watching this kid strike poses and mimic sounds, mirroring a brother, is great entertainment. Sira is our actor in the family. Although everybody is theatrical, to say the least . . .

Aug 22, 2008

Happiness is . . . Bereket

Blessings upon blessings is my little blessing (the meaning of his epic name--'Blessing', that is). The staff that cared for Bereket in Ethiopia described him as "the smiley one". Yet for much of the teen months, Bereket appeared uncomfortable, anxious, listless; worn out, stressed, and unhappy; overwhelmed by his brothers and maybe just a little undercared for by his tired and hand filled parents. Or perhaps it was the dreadful molar appearances that zapped my Bereket's spirit and body. Indeed, he failed to budge an inch vertically in 6 months when most babies are stretching at alarming rates. Sira was having a fit full time of it as well and wanted papa's arms day and night (yet Tsega didn't seem to notice his teeth at all). Personalities were morphing for the worser and I seriously questioned my boys' happiness. You know how Americans think; happiness is everything.

Slings got us through it. When arms fail, slings (or mei tais, ergos, whatever baby wearing fashion), tight and pressed firm to a caring body, reach a baby's soul. The soothing powers stitched within cannot be matched outside the womb. Bereket still comes to me with sling in hand, seeking the tight confines the cloth provides against my body, like a warm cave, away from brotherly predators.

My favorite Bereket pose: angel flying.

Now my little 1/3 at two years old (26 months to be exact), is becoming quite the silly goof ball. A real spit-fire. And once shy and easily intimidated, his social butterfly/angelical wings have spread. As long as he is smiling, laughing, and teasing, I can be happy. And with more happiness, came 3 inches of height during the next 6 months.

Bereket, you can lay down at the zoo anytime you want, as long as you keep smiling.

Bereket totally exhausted after a very happy day. Sira, no more poking him in the car, please.

Aug 19, 2008

Shameless Plugging

Although I don't normally deviate from triplet chronicles, a good plug is worth plugging.

If you find yourself idling and bored and wondering what we think about in Tripletland when we're not thinking triplets (hmmm, is there ever a triplet-free thought anymore?), then flip through National Geographic, September 2008 issue. You may spot the famous & funky triplet papa on page 146 (he's all mine, girls and guys). It's nice having a National Geographic photographer in your neighborhood.

And no other American knows better about the problems of Haitian soil than my do-good buddy Sasha Kramer, quoted on page 108. Sasha has a passion for Haiti, human rights, food growing, ecology, soil, and poop (well, and pee for that matter). Come help her build soil fertility and human health in Haiti through the construction of composting toilets or donate to her worthy organization S.O.I.L

May you eat and drink well tonight and offer your blessings, thanks, and compost to Mama Earth.