Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chocolate chip pancakes

We were not successful in scheduling the girls until they were approximately six months old. Actually, they were six and a half months old. I can remember the exact weekend that I decided that they needed to be on a schedule. For everyone's sanity. Rich was attending his brother's wedding in Virginia while Grammy and I cared for the girls. At home. Our original plans had included me flying to Virginia with Rich to attend the wedding as well. Oh, how I laugh at that now.

There were a few different reasons why I was hesitant to try to place the girls on a schedule. There are two schools of thought regarding this subject and one of those is that babies should be allowed to create their own schedules. That their bodies will dictate when they need to eat and sleep. Rich and I had taken a birthing class, lead by a Labor & Delivery nurse who had recently given birth, at the hospital when I was pregnant with Abigail. I remember that during one of the breaks, another attendee had asked the nurse if her baby was on a schedule yet. The nurse laughed lightly, almost scoffed actually, and replied with, "Oh, no. You can't schedule a baby." It still remember that exchange as if it were yesterday.

I am not one to read books on parenting techniques. I don't necessarily think that there is anything wrong with those books or with parents who read them. I am more of a hands on, learn as you go kind of person. That weekend, I caved and bought a book. Maybe more than one. I can't remember exactly. Anyway, at the beginning of one of the books, the author discussed how a baby should be a part of the family and how the family shouldn't revolve around the baby. Oh, how I laugh at that as well.

I had three infants. One infant with some special needs. Three infants with some potential reflux issues. Three infants who never wanted to eat enough. Three infants who never wanted to sleep for long enough. Three infants who were fed on demand per the advice of medical professionals.

Rich and I were outnumbered from day one. Our family did revolve around the babies.

In case you are wondering how the scheduling worked out, it did work. We decided to follow Eat, Activity, Sleep and just like that {insert snapping fingers here} we were on a three hour schedule. {Insert sigh of relief here.}

Here we are years later and Rich and I are still trying to find that happy median where the girls don't control every aspect of our family. We are slowly coming out of the darkness and although Rich and I would sacrifice any and everything for our girls, we really do need to keep our sanity.

As there were no major events planned for this past weekend, Rich and I took turns sleeping in. I assisted in bringing the girls downstairs Saturday morning and then snuck back upstairs and slept until 10:45. Yes, it was wonderful. When the girls were infants, we did not do this. We couldn't do this.

The girls woke up around 7:30 on Sunday morning. I'm not quite sure who woke up first but within a matter of minutes, all three were standing at the gate at the top of the stairs exclaiming, "Somebody come get us. We're ready to go downstairs." They didn't realize that Rich and I were still in "the big bed" until I called out, "Mommy and Daddy are still sleeping." So then all three came running into our room and started acting crazy.

Allie refers to our bed as "the big bed." She used to think that it is just Rich's bed. What does that tell you? Yes, I have spent too much time sleeping on the floor. She also pointed to a pile of stuff on the floor and said, "Somebody made a mess." What does that tell you? Yes, I need to do some cleaning.

I am not a morning person at all. My ideal schedule would allow me to sleep until noon and then have my day end at 3:00 am. I need to be awake for a few hours in the morning before I eat anything. Sunday morning as Rich was sleeping in, I suddenly started craving chocolate chip pancakes. There is a breakfast place here in town that serves delicious chocolate chip pancakes. Imagine syrup and whipped cream and powdered sugar. They serve breakfast until 1:00 pm so technically we still could have headed out for an early lunch.

I sometimes feel lazy but it is easier at times to just stay in instead of venturing out. Especially in the winter. Doing anything with three toddlers requires me to exert an enormous amount of energy. It's odd to think that four years ago, going out to eat breakfast was just a normal weekend thing to do. I never ever thought that it would be the process that it is today. But it is getting easier. I can look back and see that it is easier.

Speaking of everyday normal things, I need/want to start running again. I actually started running again this week. It is something that is so hard to do with the girls but I need to just do it. Running was a part of my life for so long, it seems weird to not run. I don't think I ever blogged about what happened over the summer that ended my little running stint. I twisted my ankle and finally gave in to taking a week off to allow it to heal up. After that week off, I came down with a cold so I took another week off. And then I blew out my back. I must have pulled something while cathing Anna in the van as this all went down right after one of our beach trips that required me to cath her like five times in the van. I was in excruciating pain for a week. It even hurt to sit in my office chair. Oddly enough, it didn't really bother me too much at night.

It took another two weeks before my back was somewhat normal again. Going into that third week, I started googling kidney issues and was almost concerned enough to consider going to the doctor but then I convinced myself the next day that it was feeling better. And then I never found the energy to fit running back into my schedule. The girls have been sleeping much better now so I figured it was time to lace up my running sneakers and jump back on the treadmill.

I really want to run that 5K in May again this year and actually train for it. Yeah, remember last year when I trained for, what, maybe three weeks for that race. Rich pushed the girls in the triple jogging stroller and we started off in last place so as to not slow anyone down. I want to beat my time of 32:30. Eeeeeek! I have a goal. And yes, Rich plans to push the girls again this year.

And maybe when it starts to thaw out around here, I'll get those chocolate chip pancakes.


mie said...

I hope you get those chocolate chip pancakes!

Samantha said...

How long were the girls in the hospital after birth? Ours were there 30 days and the NICU put them on a great schedule that we stuck to.

Kelli said...

Aaaahhh we have a lot in common :) My trips will be 3 in May and I still have not started running again, at least for more than a few weeks. Not sure how much longer my latest excuse of "the dog chewed one of my running shoes" will work!

Sarah said...

Samantha - Emily & Allie came home with me from the hospital. Anna was in the NICU for 3 weeks. She was on a 3 hour schedule at first but her weight was lower than Em's. We ended up demand feeding her - esp. when she would act hungry before those 3 hrs.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you would share what you pack to take the girls out for a small outing and also what you pack for longer trips? Any tips that work well for you?


Esther and Brian said...

Yummm--I made really awesome chocolate chip crepes for the twins and they love it! When they actually decide to eat, that is.

I've always had the boys on a schedule- eat every three hours, play, sleep (early on) and I have to say that the hospital did a great job putting the boys on the same schedule even though Patrick was in the general nursery while Eric was still trying to keep his temps up in the Level 2 nursery. At almost 18 months, we still have a schedule going and I quite enjoy it. I am with you, I need to have my sanity and free time (that happens most at night after 6pm when they go to sleep). I also think that it will get harder as the boys get older and we have to switch them to big boy beds. Reading your stories in very educational for me!

Challenges, challenges!

Good luck with the running!!!

Julia said...

We feel so much the same here, though the twins are only 16mo. We also (breast)fed on demand and six months was the age when they established a schedule, so I guess that is a more or less natural timing. I did read books on child rearing before that, and tried to schedule them (no crying it out, only organizing activities, as you did), but it did not work.

Now we do go out with them and it is probably much easier than with triplets, but a hassle nonetheless. They still breastfeed so I cannot go far. We have just dropped the morning nap and replaced it with a big afternoon nap, which was a relief too.

But the night sleeping sounds exactly like what you described before this late improvement, and I dread that it will continue for a year or more. I am ready for it to be over before they are two.

Elizabeth said...

I don't have multiples (but I surfed on to your blng) and I wanted to say how lovely your blog and pictures are. My children are 10 and 13 and I would definitely say it gets much much easier as they get older and sleep more. I do remember the days of taking it in turns to sleep in with my hubby.
Thanks for sharing.