Who are these Critters you speak of?

Monday, February 22, 2010

How We Do It.

Apparently these are real books. Hopefully that knife is not involved.

This post was spurred by a loyal blog reader's (Fran) suggestion that I reveal our secrets on how we get out and about with the Critters. First, we don't have any wonderful secrets on how to get out with the Critters, we just have to do it to maintain our sanity. Secondly, it is the only way that we know how to do things, we don't know anything else but triplets.

I am going to give ya'll a little insight on how we get around from tips (if you can call them that)that we have learned to the gear that we use.

1) Own a Big Ol' Car. Luckily Rian desperately wanted a Jeep Commander before we had kids. I definitely think she is clairvoyant sometimes, this car is a Godsend. We have yet to, and will probably have to be dragged to the world of mini vans. It appears as though the Honda Odyssey is the official van of multiples.

2) Good Diaper Bag. While many, including Grandma Kate think that Rian's Petunia Pickle Bottom (yes that is actually the company name) Bag is the ugliest thing going it has actually turned out to be a fantastic buy. I comes with a higher price tag then some bags but by my standards this thing is worth its weight in gold. It is super convenient to change the kids and it has more than enough room to store stuff for three Critters.

Boxy Backpack in Moon over Macau.

3) Car Seats/Infant Carries. I list both because we got both and it wasn't by plan. Let's just say that my grand plan not to have infant carriers and just use convertible car seats blew-up in my face. I will say that it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The backseat of the Jeep is 54" across, that leaves me roughly 17.5-18" per seat/carrier. After having a nervous breakdown in Babies'R Us due to all the seats being over 18" wide, I stumbled on the Sunshine Kids Radian 80 Convertible Car Seat. While this seat will be great when the children can face forward, it didn't work so well in the rear facing mode. I really think that one would need a conversion van or flatbed truck to have these things fit comfortably in the rear facing position. Unfortunately Rian and I are not contortionists and couldn't comfortably fit in (ie - not a shot of us riding from TLH to Orlando like this) the front seats. One would think that through all my research I would figure in the measurements in the rear facing position, but you would all be wrong. Imagine my reaction when we found this out.

Radian 80 Convertible Car Seat.

Another issue is that even though the seats say they are 5-80lb, there is no way a five pound baby can comfortably ride in it. We had to prop little CarCar up with receiving blankets to get her home. Luckily, Grandma Kate swooped in and remedied the situation and got us the Combi Shuttle infant carriers. These have turned out to be a wonderful addition to our baby portfolio. Unfortunately, I seen to be the only person that can get the seats in and out easily, convenient huh. While I am completely satisfied with these seats, it is a little hard on the old lower back getting the middle Critter out.

Combi Shuttle in Bonsai Green

4) Don't Skimp on the Stroller. This is probably were I poured most of my research in. I wanted a stroller that could last and one that could easily get through doors. In the realm of multiples strollers you have two choices, tandem and side-by-side. I preferred the tandem style due to the ease of getting through doors. I also wanted a stroller in which the Critters could face us as we pushed them. This requirement right here drastically narrowed my choices. In the United States there appears to only be two types to choose from, Kolcraft Contours or the Peg Perego Duette.

Note: We quickly dismissed the idea of a triplet stroller due to their size, it was akin to pushing around my Jetta. There was no way unless we drove a Fed Ex truck that we could transport one of those things.

We pseudo test drove the Kolcraft at Babies 'R Us. I say pseudo test drove because the thing literally fell apart as I was getting off the display shelf. I know that many people swear by these things, maybe the display model was a lemon, but this completely turned me off of this one. Next we took the Peg for a spin. Night and Day people, Night and Day. This was like a Rolls Royce compared to the Kolcraft, it even had a steering wheel, a freakin steering wheel. All that was missing was a self powered motor on this thing. It was settle we were going to shell out the big bucks for this one........until I did some digging. It appears that while the steering wheel is a super cool feature, it has some mechanical issues, that if they break virtually render this stroller useless. Now I don't know about you all but if I am shelling out over a thousand buck for a stroller it better darn well last.

Dismayed and felling defeated I mustered up the strength to do one more google search for a double tandem stroller. This German website popped up and I was intrigued. I clicked on it and it was like finding the Holy Grail. This was it, this was the stroller. I convinced Rian that we needed to order the stroller and optional carrycots without test driving. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea after the last two disappointments but I clicked the order button. A little north of $800 bucks later (including $120 bucks for shipping) this beauty (ABC Design Zoom) was on its way. I mentioned that this was a German website, but I guess that I figured in this day an age they had faster shipping options than 6-8 weeks. Thank God I ordered this three months before they were born. This company which I later learned is the only one that will ship this stroller to the States sends everything by boat, you heard that right a boat. Ten weeks later the stroller arrived and it did not disappoint. This thing is freaking amazing, sad I know to talk about a stroller in those terms. Eight months later and we are still happy with this thing, we have moved to the traditional seats from the carrycots.

ABC Design Tandem Zoom in Carbon (with regular seat and optional carrycot).

What do you do with the other Critter you are probably asking. Well here you go, we bought another stroller from ABC Designs called the Takeoff. This little guy folds up to the size of a piece of carry on luggage. This little fact is quite important when space is at a premium. The Takeoff is great and easy to use after a little practice.

ABC Design Takeoff in Carbon.

This is the Takeoff folded down.

If we decide not to use the second stroller we use a Baby Bjorn given to us by the Grahamily. This thing is great, it also makes it easier to walk the dog.

Well there you have it, our closely guarded secrets. If you have any questions about any of the other stuff that we use shoot me an email, I am sure I left out some good info.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentine's Day (Late)

I think that Rian and I are past the "Let's go together" stage, actually we are also past the "Let's get Hitched" stage, and the "Let's have babies" stage. The more I think about it we are firmly in the "No more kids" stage. It was a great Valentine's Day this year though, we have a few extra characters in our story, namely the Critters. It is always fun celebrating the first of things; First Christmas, First New Years, First Valentine's Day, etc. This year we had a great ole time with the addition of the Critters. Both of the Grandma's also came up to celebrate.

On Saturday, the Critters, the Grandmas and me headed up to Thomasville for brunch at Liam's. Once again another great meal, minus the fact that they ran out of beignets. While we were up there we ran into Mary, Holly and the Radcliffe family, and Mary's boyfriend David and his family. Rian was noticeable absent as she had a baby shower to attend. After some window shopping we headed back to the TLH and met up with Rian to head to Babies 'R Us. After we cleaned them out of size 2-3 diapers we headed back to the casa to figure out dinner. It was a quiet night of Ted's and the Olympics. (How bad did the Opening Ceremonies suck?)

Sunday was Church and an absolutely horrible brunch at Po'Boy in Killearn. Man that place has gone downhill. I think they are focusing more on the bar aspect than the food. Needless to say when I need my Po'Boys fix I will be heading downtown. That night we had Aunt Donna over for dinner. We had a marvelous time and could hardly believe when we looked at the clock, it was already 10:45 p.m., yes I know to most people that is early, but it sure felt like 1 a.m. to me. So all in all a great weekend was had by all.

Here are some pics of our pre-Church snack. Rian gets very excited about novelty doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

Abbey requesting an original glazed doughnut.

The superduper special Valentine's Heart-Shaped Doughnut from Krispy Kreme.

Hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day.


Photographic Evidence

Rian was able to capture CarCar in action yesterday as she pulled herself to a standing position. Man, CarCar is going to be a handful.

Here are a few shots.
CarCar just after she stood up. Hadley is apparently in shock.

CarCar creepin toward something she shouldn't be, as usual. (Note to computer at the bottom right of the picture.)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bath Time

We have upgraded bath time for the Critters. Long gone are the days in the hard plastic tub and getting bathed in the sink. I will say this was much easier on my back.

On one of our many trips to Babies 'R Us we were perusing the hygiene aisle and stumbled upon a super cool rubber ducky bath tub. You should have seen Reese's eyes light up when we brought it down, it was as if he had stumbled upon a never-before-seen treasure.

After we got home and after almost passing out from blowing this thing up, we were ready for bath time. A small additional note, this bathtub came complete with a voice box in the bill that will quack, quite loudly I must say. As you can imagine Abbey came streaking around the corner to subdue this wild beast. Unfortunately for Abbey, she couldn't get close enough to take down this invader because she won't come into the bathroom. If you know Abbey you know that she despises baths and anytime that I am in the guest bathroom she thinks its bath time for Abbey.

Back to the Critters, they absolutely love this thing. They will sit up in this thing and play with their toys. I will say that I get quite a bit wetter now during bath time, the Critters have discovered the fun of splashing. When these three splash they truly go all out.

Here are some pics of Reese enjoying the new tub:

Reese just straight up lounging in the new tub.


Letting me know that this is way better than the plastic tub.

We Are Mobile, and Talking Too

Pic courtesy of LoneWolfLibrarian.

Well, it has happened. CarCar has decided that being stationary is just not for her. She has decided that there is more of the world to see other than her play mat. Right now she is doing what people refer to as an "army crawl." This basically involves pulling herself with her arms and not really using her legs, just basically leaving them to drag behind her. She understands the concept of getting up on her knees but she hasn't quite figured out how to get those legs moving too.

Note: As I am typing this I got a call from Rian that CarCar has decided to outdo herself and has pulled herself into a standing position. Man, this little girl is going to be a handful.

In addition to becoming mobile Carson has decided that she would now like to also speak. She also decided that her one and only word would be "mama." According to the occupational therapist this is very unusual as most babies start off with "dada." Apparently it has something to do with the way the "d" comes out of the mouth. I think it may have something to do with CarCar wanting to get the spotlight back on her. Her brother and sister were talking and she decided it was high time that she did it too. I don't know, I personally took it as an insult because I always thought CarCar liked me better.

We are attempting to get video and as soon as we are able to capture it we will bring it to you.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I'm Back After a Little Hiatus

I took a little unintended hiatus from the blog last week. Unfortunately it was not to have fun in the warm Florida Weather. Did Al Gore get a little mixed up, I thought the temperature was going to shot up and Tallahassee would be underwater. Hey Mr. Gore, it freaking snowed in Thomasville, Georgia on Friday, and my bird bath was frozen solid. The only thing that has risen around Tallahassee is the electric bills.

Well, here is a quick recap of things that went on while I was away from the computer. We are in the seventh layer of teething hell. While you can see little nubs Hadley's teeth have yet to break through which from what I have read can cause a little discomfort. By a little discomfort I mean not sleeping AT ALL. Sleep has been the most elusive thing lately in our house.

This weekend the Grandmas' came up for a Valentines visit. We had a great time at Liam's in Thomasville, aside from the fact that they ran out of Beignets. The Critters were a little under the weather on Sunday, I think it was mostly due to the lack of sleep and teething. Don't fret I have quite a few posts in the hopper.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

And the Winner is.......

The winner of the first ever Critter giveaway is ........................Elaine, lucky number 28. The Critters would like to thank everybody for stopping by and checking out the blog and they hope that you continue to visit.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

First Teeth

Pic courtesy of Mrs-josh-farro.

Well, CarCar has cut not one but two teeth on the bottom. Needless to say she is in a little bit of pain. Hooray for Tylenol.


End of Your Rope? Nope, Lets Pull Ya Back.

Man it has just been one of those weeks. Sometimes I think that I have truly reached the end of my rope and am unsure I can keep doing this. I know that it is just a fleeting thought but sometimes it can just overwhelm you. It is amazing to me though that just one little look from one of the kids can just completely change you mood, even if just for a split second.

I have been in a rotten mood for most of the week, really don't know why but little CarCar shot me a smile yesterday and it seemed as though everything in the world was right. I guess there is just something about a pint-sized little girl just getting her first two bottom teeth that can make you forget all of the other crap going on in your life.

Appearances aside, this has been the most difficult thing that I (we) have ever done. There have been some very trying times at our house, but the thing that keeps pulling me through is is Rian and the Critters. A year ago I could not even fathom that I could love the Critters as much as I do. I also believe that our (Rian and I) relationship has grown quite a bit stronger also. I will say this though, I am glad that the Critters are our first (AND ONLY) children because we don't know any different. Our normal is three kids.

But back to the Critters. I truly cannot thank them and Rian enough for doing their best to cheer me up and/or drag me up by my boot-straps. Not to make this a Debbie Downer post but I just wanted to thank them for shooting me a smile, laughing, spitting food all over, and generally just being happy babies. Thank you. Your dad will get back to his normal fun loving self eventually, and completely enjoy the ride known as fatherhood.

If you have made it down this far, thanks for sticking with me. I just really had to get that off my chest. I found something online the other day that completely summed parenthood, and it also made me smile.

As seen on Marvelous Kiddo.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Not Every Picture is Perfect

While this picture is a little out of focus, it just shows you the true nature of Hadley Ann. She is probably the sweetest little girl who is always smiling. You can just see in her eyes that she is a loving and caring little girl.