Wow! You guys had a lot of questions on your mind! So many questions in fact that I’ve decided to do this in two segments… On Monday I’ll answer the second half of the questions.
Here are the answers to the questions in order received. We’ll do this again in the future, so don’t worry if you didn’t get to ask your question(s).
1. Have you ever mixed the boys up for longer than a couple of minutes?
- I think the longest I’ve ever had them mixed up was for about 5 minutes. Tyler wasn’t even home from the NICU yet when Nick came out to the living room early one morning to find me crying. I was pretty sure I had mixed Jackson and Chase up! Nick smartly remembered that only one of them had lost the plastibell (sp?) from their circumcision, so we just checked for that. Turned out I hadn’t mixed them up after all!
2. How do you tell them apart if they are not dressed differently?
- For the first 5 months or so we used a Sharpie to put dots on the bottom of their feet. Jackson got one dot, Tyler got 2 and Chase got 3. At each bath time we’d renew the dots. At about 5 months old Chase developed a small birth mark and Jackson had a herniated belly button so we stopped doing the dots as we had other ways to tell if necessary. Now I’m not entirely sure how I tell them apart – I just do! Sometimes I slip and call one the wrong name, but what mom doesn’t do that? I notice different facial expressions, different laughs, different cries, etc.
3. When thinking about the future, which emotion do you feel more often, fear or excitement?
- Excitement for sure! Why bother being fearful? It’s not like I can stop the future from coming…
4. How often do you get time to yourself and what do you do during that time?
- I almost always get to go grocery shopping by myself once a week. I also get out every Monday night for the high school girls small group I co-lead. I try to attend the monthly triplet mom dinner in town and also lead the monthly scrapbooking night at church! Nick is very good about pushing me out of the house when opportunities come up. During nap time I will occasionally drag my scrapbooking stuff out too, which is nice “me time”.
5. Do you miss working at all and do you think you will go back at any point?
- I occasionally miss the work I did, but not enough to go back right now. Ideally I’d love to freelance, but that requires a lot of promoting I don’t have time for right now. I am currently looking into substitute teaching once a week though in order to get out and supplement our income a bit (I would sub on Nick’s day off).
6. Do you think things are easier now or when the boys were newborns?
- Now, hands down!
7. Do you plan to have more children? When?
- That’s not something Nick and I are talking about for a little bit still. If you asked just me, I would say “yes” but it’s not a decision to be made by just me! If I had my way though we would start trying for a 4th by this coming fall. And it better be a girl!
8. Did the pregnancy mess up your stomach and would you consider plastic surgery?
- Yes and yes! Anyone want to donate a tummy tuck?
9. Do you think you’ll stay in KC forever?
- I’ve learned to not try to “predict” God’s plan. I never thought we’d live further away from “home” than Michigan.
10. Will you get a Costco membership when the boys are older?
- We currently have a Sam’s Club membership, so I doubt we’ll switch to Costco.
11. Will your grocery budget be larger when the boys are older and eat more?
- I have no idea! My goal will always be to keep it as low as possible. I feel like even in the last 6 months I’ve become a lot more savvy with my grocery budget and like to think I’ll only continue to improve.
12. Did you like the hospital where you gave birth?
- Absolutely! It hadn’t been my first choice initially, but when I found out I’d need a Level 3 NICU it was a no-brainer to switch.
13. How do you keep your food budget so low?
- The Grocery Game is a huge help in keeping my grocery budget so low, as is the chain store Aldi. I also keep my eyes open online for coupon and sample offers.
14. Do you ever go out to eat and do you cook every meal for your family?
- We’ve been out to eat once as a family. We virtually never order take out either (although I’d sure love to once in a while!). So yes, I do cook every meal for the family. I also bake a good deal of the “snacks” consumed here (cookies, bagels, bread, english muffins, etc).
15. What’s your favorite recipe?
- I’m a fan of anything that involves my crock pot. The ability to just throw stuff together in the morning (or even the night before and stick the crock in the fridge) and then not worry again until dinner is the best! I make chicken a variety of ways in my crock pot.
16. Do you ever have a minute to yourself?
- Yep! I get a couple of hours of blissful silence in the afternoons while the boys nap, I get to go grocery shopping and a variety of other “activities” that were covered in Question 4.
17. As a MOM what’s your opinion on the Octuplets family situation?
- As more and more of the story comes out I find my opinion on the situation changing. At this point I feel terribly for the children, especially the older 6 who now have to watch all of this unfold. Even though I did not undergo IVF, I have heard from many friends that the doctor who implanted 6 embryos was crazy and doing something that is not at all close to the norm. I feel that’s terrible. I feel terribly that her parents feel they have to continue to care for all of these children and based on the interviews I’ve read, I think the grandma is pretty bitter about the situation. It’s just sad. I pray those babies do well and am beyond impressed that the mom carried them as long as she did.
18. Do you think you could have “survived” the early weeks/months without the volunteers?
- Absolutely. It would have been rough not having those meals for the first few weeks the boys were home, but we would have survived. It also was nice those first 4 months to have a couple of afternoons a week to grab a quick nap, but again I would have survived without it.
19. How long does it take you to plan your grocery shopping trips?
- I’d say about 30 minutes or so if I’m really focused – the includes scanning fliers, making my lists and pulling coupons.
20. If money/time were no object – what is the one thing you would do for yourself?
- I would love to go someplace warm and tropical with Nick, for just a couple of days. While away I would want to spend a day at the spa!
21. So when can I expect a home sewn costume for myself? (asked by my husband Nick)
- Well Nick, seeing as you keep bugging me about this I think you will be delighted to hear I am going to plan a fantastic costume for you for Halloween and you will be forced to wear it while you take the boys around the neighborhood next year.
On that note, I’ll end for now! Check back Monday for the rest of the answers and of course tomorrow for Saturday Savings!