Written by Jessica on Thursday, June 26, 2008

I've recently had to make one of the hardest decisions I've ever made. Emotionally, probably the hardest. The decision is that I give up the career I've worked so hard to get, to become a full time mom. The career that had just started to flourish. All my hard work, going to school, working full time, and being a mom, had just started to pay off. What if I can never get it back? What if that was my only chance? I know, I know, it's selfish of me to have those thoughts. But I can't help it. After all, I have 4 beautiful, healthy children. Nonetheless, the decision to stay at home is not an easy one. It requires sacrifice on so many levels; as mentioned - my career (which in my case is a big part of me and my identity), my monetary contribution to the family, adult interaction, whatever little bit of a social life I used to have, here lately my sanity, among other things, all have been sacrificed.

I had everything planned out, and this wasn't in the master plan, so it through me for a loop. I have been on the fence since I found out about the triplets, unsure of my next move and scared to death at the thought of being a full-time mother of 4 all at once. I kept hoping that a magical super nanny would come rescue me and offer to take care of my boys while I continued to work. But the nanny didn't come and it was decision time. Wade and I had gone through the pros and cons numerous times. We could basically sway the decision any way we wanted to. We'd take turns playing devils advocate, and we hashed out the numbers over and over. At times I would sit and try to rationalize working to basically break even after childcare expenses.

But it came down to looking at my 7 pound babies. My babies that were 7 pounds at 7 weeks old. They've fought for 7 weeks to gain weight and grow, yet they were still smaller than Taylor the day he was born. (he was 8lb 10oz) Taylor was always a strong baby, but as many daycare babies are, he stayed sick. He caught every little cold that came around for the first year of his life. (Since then, he's hardly ever sick.) But, I just can't put these boys through that right now.

That's when I realized being a mom and raising a family requires sacrifice. Yes, my career is on hold. When the boys are a little older, I hope to go back and pick up where I left off. It's a chance I have to take.

After all, being a working mom requires sacrifice too. And it's a sacrifice that you can't get back, you can't pick up where you left off. I know that sacrifice well, I understand the guilt and the sadness you feel when you miss a milestone and you can only read about it in the daily daycare report. Or the sadness and guilt you feel when you can't attend a party or other school function because it's an important day at work. I've missed so much with Taylor, and I can't get it back. Wade's job is much more flexible than mine, so he was able to attend those little functions and stay home with Taylor when he wasn't really sick, sick, but just didn't feel good. Taylor refers to those days as "hookin." **How cute is that?!** For Taylor's sake, I'm glad Wade was there but I wish I could've done it more.

While this has been a hard and in many ways a sad decision for me to make, ultimately I feel as though I'm doing the best thing for us. My days here with 4 boys are much harder than my job as a banker on even the toughest banking days, but I know it will pay greater dividends in memories down the road.

I was blessed with these Angels and pulled in this direction for a reason, the rest is up to me.

To all my CB&T friends and co-workers, thank you for 7 great years! Keep in touch! ..oh, and keep a spot open for me, please. = ) I'll be begging to come back before you know it!

Written by Jessica on Thursday, June 19, 2008

The boys are going to be 7 weeks this Saturday, and they have discovered their voices. Their very loud crying voices that is. Not much cooing and happy sounds yet. Just crys. All day; crys. I've separated their beds completely now. I kept trying and going back to the pack and play bassinet because it was so convenient, but I don't think it's safe to have that much weight in it anymore. But I just don't think that's what's wrong. I lay them together on the floor and they still cry. They don't even notice each other at this point. They're usually fine when I hold them. The only problem is that I'm way outnumbered. Since Taylor has started staying home with us, he's feeling a little jealousy and trying to get attention any way he can. Overall, he's behaving well, but when he gets bored or the babies are crying a lot and getting attention, he becomes very demanding. Every thing's getting a little more difficult. I can't wait until the babies start responding to me and smiling because they're happy, not just gassy. I think once I start getting that from them it will help make the day a little more rewarding and therefore not as difficult. ...I hope anyways. Meanwhile, here's what things look like around here a lot these days. Notice their shirts...

Tucker keeps spitting his snooze button out!

No such thing as snoozin with Brayden!

Let's not forget about Carter.

I know, I know. My babies are crying and I'm taking pictures! What kind of mom am I?

I managed to catch Brayden smiling...He must be gassy. = )

Taylor has learned to ride his bike without training wheels! He didn't have much of a choice, one of his training wheels bent in and fell off. He tried riding it with only one training wheel which, in the end, proved harder than none at all. It took him about 30 minutes and most of that time he was resisting and fussing. Once he made up his mind to do it, he was gone. Steering is still a bit of a challenge, and since he forgets about the brakes sometimes, he's had quite a few minor crashes.

Brushing off after crashing into the tree

About to crash into the grill

All clear!

Wade and I were able to take Taylor out for an evening thanks to Jenny, Heather, and Kendra. We ate at Lieutenants and played putt putt. It was nice to have some one on one time with Taylor. We all had a good time.

Can you tell by the smile who got a hole in one on the very first hole?!

That's all I have time for today. I've been working on this for 4 days now, so I'm excited to have gotten this far! I'm trying to juggle two boys now. Brayden's so tired from this morning, he's actually sleeping.
Here are some other pictures I thought you might enjoy!

Written by Jessica on Saturday, June 14, 2008

To my dad, step-dad, and daddy in law, thanks for everything. We love you! I hope all the great dads out there have an equally great day!

My husband is one of the greatest dad's I've ever known. He lives for his boys and finds joy in what makes them happy. Probably because he's an even bigger kid. No matter the reason, my boys and I are lucky to have him as a golf instructor, a broken toy mechanic, a bottle maker, a diaper changer, a football coach, the buyer of slushies and other sugary treats that mom won't buy, and much more, but most of all we're lucky to have him as dad and a husband.

We love you!

Here are some of my favorite photo's from the last 6 years

September 6, 2002. Taylor Wade Lloyd was born. My husband became a father.

Taylor's first Christmas. 3 months old


Taylor 3 1/2 months old. Dad's thinking, 'this feeding thing just got a lot easier.'

Wait... maybe it's not so easy...

Taylor's first Easter egg hunt (getting a little help from dad)

Dad and Taylor in VEGAS!

Past Taylor's bedtime..but it's Vegas!

3 1/2 years old - Taylor wants to help dad mow

Taylor's asking some putting advice from dad

Dad's holding Taylor's clubs while he unwillingly poses for mom

May 3, 2008. Wade is a dad again, and again, and again. Triplets change everything!

Dad feeding Carter in the hospital

sleep deprived dad

Tucker's first bath. We're still in the hospital, but dad jumps in.

Our new family. Memorial day 2008

Taking the boys for a stroll

Being a dad is exhausting

...Very exhausting

Very, very exhausting!
I found 2 quotes that made me smile:
"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
~~Author Unknown, but I bet he was a very smart and happy man!

A father carries pictures where his money used to be. ~~Author Unknown

Written by Jessica on Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Categories: ,

OK, so I've never recycled before, so I wasn't sure where to begin. I googled drop locations for my zip code and found a few places. Once I started calling them I found that certain places only took certain things, some knew they were a "drop" location but didn't know what they accepted and what they didn't and some just said, "Bring it and we'll throw it out if we can't use it." I was pretty disappointed with my first attempt to figure this recycling thing out. But, after a little more research, I've found 2 convenient locations that accept the most common recyclables. One is the Goodwill located in downtown Columbus, the other is by the Roy Martin Center in Phenix City. Neither of the 2 could tell me exactly what they accepted, but said "the most common" are taken there. To find your nearest recycling center visit this website: http://www.recyclingcenters.org/. If you live in Columbus, you can call the utilities department and they will supply you with bins and pick them up weekly. Phenix City doesn't have that service.

I tried to think of what we use and throw away the most, aside from diapers, and I think the top 3 in order would be:

  1. Plastics (types 1and 2)

  2. Aluminum

  3. Tin Cans (canned goods)

Actually I think paper would be number 1, but we're not going to try to tackle paper just yet... I am going to start contacting all the companies that send me junk mail and catalogs full of things I'll never be able to afford to ask them to remove me from their mailing list. For information on how to remove yourself or simply reduce the amount of paper in your mailbox visit http://www.ecocycle.org/junkmail/index.cfm.

Not all plastics are recyclable, and there are some rules. For example, only plastics with a 1 or 2 on the bottom can be recycled in most places. Also, the items must be cleaned and the labels need to be removed. Also, if they have a lid, the lid must be removed as well; they're not recyclable yet. For information on how to separate your plastics and other recycling tips, visit: http://www.ehow.com/how_9160_recycle-plastic.html and
http://environment.about.com/od/earthtalkcolumns/a/recycleplastics.htm. You can also sign up for electronic billing and pay all your bills online. It’s quicker, easier, cheaper, and definitely greener.

This site offers several creative ways to reuse things you usually throw away after the first use. It also has lots of good tips on recycling as well as links to other ‘green’ websites: http://www.ecologue.com/

Here are my homemade recycling bins

Ok, lesson over. I just thought I would try to make someone elses recycling experience a little easier.

Written by Jessica on Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I do everything in 3's nowadays. Even if it's not in 3's - The number is usually divisible by 3.

Point and Case
  • I wash about 15 loads of laundry a week.
  • Since the boys have come home, I've washed 3 things I shouldn't have, that have lead to 3 times the work. 1. A disposable diaper (HUGE, HUGE MESS!) 2. A pocket full of confetti (Thanks vacation bible school!) 3. A grocery list that when washed turned into a novel.
  • I make, wash, and feed 126 bottles a week.
  • That's 504 ounces of formula a week. (that number will go up soon)
  • I change 130-140 diapers a week - give or take a few leaks and an upset tummy or two.

3 New Meanings Since Triplets

  • A good night of sleep = 4 consecutive hours of sleep OR 6 non-consecutive hours in a 24 hour period.
  • A good day = I get 2 good burps per feeding, no vomiting, and at least 1 "good" dirty diaper per baby per day. (YES - moms worry about the quality of the poo!) OH-and a shower is a nice bonus!
  • Spare time = I think I remember that word from my previous life, but I can no longer recall its meaning...

Keeping with the 3's

Everyone needs to set goals. How else will you know if you're making progress in life or just floating along? I've learned from work, goals should be SMART - That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. So, here are my 3 SMART goals:

1. Lose 30lbs in 3 months (This would put me just under my pre-pregnancy weight)

2. Spend 45 minutes of quality time with each of my 4 children everyday. By this I mean, not feeding time, or bath, or some other task I'm trying to accomplish. Just 45 minutes of holding, loving, talking, reading, etc. with each of my boys. Some days I get so busy, wrapped up in chores, that I don't do this. And that makes me sad. I came up with 45 minutes by taking 3 hours of my day (180 mins / my 4 boys = 45 mins each) for them.

So I'm thinking my 24 hours look something like this:

**24 minus 6 for feeding = 18 minus 3 for quality time = 15 minus 4 for caring(baths, soothing, paci patrol, clothes/diaper changes, etc.) for the all 4 boys = 11 minus 5 for cleaning, laundry, washing/making bottles, cooking dinner and feeding my 2 big boys = 6 hours for Wade, sleep, bathroom/shower, pictures, blogging, me time (with a little paci patrol sprinkled in).**

3. Last, but not least, I'm going green! Disposable diapers supposedly take 500 years to biodegrade in a landfill. No, I'm not going to cloth diapers- not even an option! So, to offset the diapers, I'm going to start recycling aluminum cans, tin cans, and plastic. If Jon and Kate plus 8 can do it - so can we! Every little bit helps. So, here's to baby steps. As our light bulbs go out, I'll probably start replacing them with the more energy efficient bulbs and we've already put a filter on the sink so we can stop buying plastic water bottles. I'm feeling greener already!

Oh, not a goal, but I'm also going to start saving the box tops for education for Taylor's school. I throw a ton of these away and it doesn't take much time to clip and save them. Why not? The school gets $$ so maybe they'll need less from me!

Alright, so I got my hair cut off (10 1/2") just before the boys were born. I posted the picture, you all saw it... short, but not that bad. Well, I just couldn't leave well enough alone. I went and did it...I got the worst hair cut EVER! at a local salon that shall remain nameless. I went somewhere other than my salon to try to save a little green and it ended up costing me more because I had to go to my salon the next day to try to salvage my hair. So, lesson learned. Looking at the bright side, I use less shampoo now and it takes me about 2 minutes to dry it which conserves energy - so it fits in to my green plans. And after all, it's just hair and it will grow back! ...It's taken me 3 days to be able to say that, but I'm really over it... really.

On to happier news...

The boys went to Dr. Ellison today (whom we absolutley love)! We actually got there with about 5 mins to spare, versus being 10 minutes late, and then we had to wait 2 hours! Go figure. The boys were hungry and got a little fussy, but the appointment went well. The boys are growing at almost double the expected rate, which is 1 ounce a day - so 1lb every 16 days. They gained almost 1 1/2 - 2 pounds in 14 days!

Carter - 20 1/2" - 8 lbs 8oz - 14 1/2" head
Brayden- 20 1/2" - 8lbs 5 oz - 14 1/2" head
Tucker - 19.75" (he didn't shrink, they've measured wrong somewhere) - 8lbs 2oz - 14" head

To give you an idea of how good the boys are doing, they were actually due tomorrow! We still haven't taken them out anywhere aside from the dr. and walking around our block. The dr. said we can begin to venture out some now, but I'm still afraid we'll expose them to something and have sick babies. Neither I nor the babies are ready for that. So, we may wait just a little longer...

Now for some pictures:
Rub a dub dub three boys in the tub! We love our baths!




10 of the 30 little piggies I get to love on

Taylor and Carter

l to r - Brayden, Carter, and Tucker kicked back watching the news

Written by Jessica on Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The boys are a month old today. Can you believe it? They just moved up to newborn clothes and diapers. No more preemie stuff for my big boys.

This is a horrible picture of me, but it's the only one I've been able to get with all of my boys.

Brayden fell asleep during tummy time. He looks so peaceful. I always put them on their backs to sleep, so he's really enjoying a tummy nap.

I don't know why this picture won't turn the right way..Just tilt your head to the right, squint your left eye, and hold your tongue just right... = ) Gottcha!

I kissed a frog and got three - no four- hansome princes.
(Just kidding about the frog bit Wade, you know I love ya!)

Written by Jessica on Monday, June 02, 2008

I just have a minute, so here's a quick update:

The boys are quickly outgrowing their first bed, which was the pack and play bassinet. So, the next step is the moses baskets that Mr. Ben and Ms. Pam got for the boys. (Thanks ya'll!!)

Of course I have a picture or 4 that I'd like to share:

I wonder who got the boys those shirts? By the way Mamaw, the boys were asking about a maid, but I told them no...