The Best Things in Life are THREE

http://www.bunchbabies.blogspot.com

I'm a 36 year old mama of 4 year old triplets, one of whom was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate! This blog is a day to day memory of the funny, crazy, endearing things they do!

Ami is a winner of Top 25 Moms of Multiples - 2013

Between getting kids dressed, fed and out the door on time mornings can be hectic! What tips do you have for making morning routines easier?

PREPARE the night before. Especially on days the trio goes to preschool, everything that can possibly get prepped the night before DOES. I set out their complete outfits on the bathroom counter (always in birth order, btw) from their underwear to their shoes. Next to the clothing are three toothbrushes WITH toothpaste on them, and finally hair accessories.

In the kitchen, their lunchboxes are set out on the counter with everything that won't spoil overnight, already in them. (I also pull up corners of tupperware so they'll be able to open them easier, cut notches in anything that's in a bag (fruit snacks, crackers, etc.) so it's easier for them to tear and I even cut off the bottom half of straw wrappers on juice boxes so that my kids can independently get into lunches with minimal help from adults.

Prepping lunches also means filling their water bottles with ice only, and putting them in the freezer overnight so that all that's left is adding water in the morning. Their backpacks are set out (again, in birth order...OCD much?) with extra clothes already packed and sweatshirts placed on top of each backpack, if the weather requires it.

Cereal boxes are set out on the counter, next to the bowls and spoons.

Finally, we learned early that it made a HUGE difference in everyone's overall demeanor and attitude if we woke them earlier than they actually need to be awake. Being able to wake up and leisurely watch a cartoon while having breakfast made the morning routine SO MUCH LESS HECTIC.

Consistency and efficiency is key!

People often say twins and other multiples have an extra special bond. Has there ever been a time when you noticed an especially unique connection?

You know, I notice it most often in the simple things like taking just one child out with me on an outing. We could be at the most fun place EVER, and still, they'll ask when they can go home to be with their brothers and/or sister.

If one of them wakes up, and gets out of bed before the others, the others are in an instant panic not knowing where their sibling is. It's pretty sweet, actually.

They play together, stick together, and fight together. Ask them who their best friends are and they'll say each other.

My daughter refers to her brothers as "her boys" or "her brothers."

The first time one child got sick on a preschool day, I knew that it was going to cause a problem. The others didn't want to go to school without the third and vice versa. (Thankfully, we've gotten over that a little bit).

So I guess I don't know that I've seen anything especially unique, just a lot of common bonding in many aspects of their day to day lives. :)

What are your tips for celebrating joint birthday parties?

So far, we've kept the themes gender neutral as opposed to something that is very gender specific. This is particularly helpful because my triplets are not all the same sex. So it's easier to do a "Carnival" theme or "Disney" as opposed to pirates and princesses. I'm getting better at KEEPING IT SIMPLE.

We don't open presents AT their parties anymore because it's very overwhelming and very confusing for everyone. We politely say thank you & open gifts at home later. It's less stressful for my kids as well as everyone else's- Particularly when the guests are very young and don't understand why they're not also opening gifts.

While the parties boast a common theme, I still try to individualize certain things. (Perhaps a separate banner with each child's name, individual cupcakes or cakes, T-Shirts, etc.) We also sing to each child separately.

Now, with all that said, I should mention that for several reasons, I didn't even have a party for their 4th birthday. While the guilt was consuming me in the weeks leading up to the "non-party birthday", I realized after the fact, that they couldn't have cared less. I still made their birthdays special and did it up big at our house. We took them to a special lunch with family and bowling with their cousin and one friend and they were happy as clams! Can I tell you how amazing it was after the fact? It made me realize that with the advent of Pinterest, (which i do love, btw) etc. and all those SuperMoms out there, the pressure to host the 'Perfect Party' can be almost suffocating.

So the lesson to remember is this--if you don't want to have a huge party every year, it's okay. Your kids will still love you. (And you won't be exhausted, stressed, & broke) :)