Getting to know you, getting to know all about you

Like the contestants on the summer reality show Big Brother, these Trishlets have decided to fill out a questionnaire in order for us to get to know them on a more personal level.  Below are their responses.

Grace

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Nicknames: Gracie, G.G., Icebox, Gracie Girl

Known for: My diva ways and my no nonsense attitude

Favorite Hobbies: Imitating my older brother, Follow that up by antagonizing him and being antagonized by him, Attacking my two wombmates with a stiff arm and a unexpected flail, Searching for treasure in my nose, Climbing on the counter chairs to snack while no one is looking, Telling people no

Favorite Place: At the beach – but only if there is a cute lifeguard that I can flirt with.

Favorite Music: Club/House not to be confused with the theme song from Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse but rather techno/pop, Current fave: “Timber”

Go to Dance Moves: Shoulder shimmy, Spinning, Jumping in place

Favorite Food: Cheese, Cheese, and Cheese, and Appetizers

Favorite Word: More (More cheese, more attention on me, and more me all the time.)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Guttural and Angry

Life Motto: “I stand down for no one.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Purple

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Brains

Reality show most likely to star in: Real Housewives of Philly (For the drama, because I certainly will have a job and be my own boss), Friday Night Tykes (hence my Icebox nickname), The Baby Bachelorette

Henry

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Nicknames: Henny, Hen, Henny Poo Poo, Henny Boo Boo, Buggyboo, Stitch, Paul Hamm, H-Bomb, Henny “the Chestnut” McGinn

Known for: My core strength and my adventurous ways.

Favorite Hobbies: Opening all the draws that mommy has just shut, Throwing toys to get them to work, Yanking glasses right off people’s faces, Eating the smallest particles of anything I can find, Showing off my incredible ab strength without even having to lift up my shirt, Walking around like an old man, Storing food in my high chair, Poking my own eyes out

Favorite Place: On top of high things I shouldn’t be on top of

Favorite Music: Marching Band Songs, Instrumental Pieces

Go to Dance Moves: Arms out on my side and waving them back and forth like I just don’t care

Favorite Food:  Hot dogs and Fruit

Favorite Word: Uh-Oh (Did I do that?)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Whiny and Quivering lower lip

Life Motto: “If there isn’t risk involved, it’s not for me.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Black

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Diversion

Reality Show Most Likely to Star in: American Ninja Warrior, Guts, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Wipeout, America’s Next Top Gymnast, One of those Flying Wallenda Specials (I’ll marry into the family)

Thomas

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Nicknames: Tommy, Tom, T.T., T. Bird, T. Bone, T.T. Bird, Little Buddy, Clothes Muncher, The Cat Burglar

Known For: My sweetness and my laziness.

Favorite Hobbies: Finding clothes and rags to munch on, Pushing and rolling things that go, Searching for the perfect person who will let me use their lap (which happens to be anybody I can find), Storing food in my mouth for hours, Doing baby yoga poses unintentionally, Slugging around the house

Favorite Place: On someone’s lap

Favorite Music: Easy listening, Michael Bublé, Oldies

Patented Dance Moves: Swaying my head and a slight bend of my knees

Favorite Food:  Ba-bas and Khakis

Favorite Word: Up (and now I say upie which works even better when luring people in)

Favorite Movie: The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

Type of Cry: Hysterical and Maniacal

Life Motto: “I haven’t found a lap I don’t like.”

Karate Belt Level of Destructive Ways: Yellow

Role in Operation Takedown Nanny Debbie: The Stealth

Reality Show Most Likely to Star in: My Strange Addiction, Momma’s Boys, Any show that takes place where there is no sunlight so perhaps Living Alaska: Winter or True Life: I’m a Vampire.

It’s been a year, do I get a raise?

I’m back!!!!!!  First off, let me apologize for my hiatus.  Quick update: the Trishlets are getting ready for high school while Joey is preparing for his senior year.  You know the thing about going back to grad school is it seems like a good idea in theory, but honestly who wants to have to ever write a paper again or do required readings, especially when they detract from my all-important blog writing.  So I am sorry I have neglected updating you on what’s been going down in my world, and I thank the three of you outside of my family for reading my words.

A year ago this time I was in my filled to the brim CR-V with only room for my body in the driver’s seat (oh and a tray of sandwiches I took from my school on my last day of work that were leftover because good food shouldn’t go to waste, and my parents weren’t home to eat them, so I had to pack them and take them with me while keeping one arm closely on them to secure them from ending up all over my dashboard and windshield on my move down to PA) ready to take on my new adventure.  And an adventure it has been.  They went from 7 month old crying, pooping babies from when I first started to 19 month old crying, pooping babies today.  There have been some highlights and some lowlights and as a result we all now have awesome hair.

I’ve mentioned before observing the development of a child has been a daily practice for me and as they age it really has kicked into high gear.  It has been extremely interesting to see these three develop into little humans, each unique in their own way.  I am not necessarily one to look at the grand scheme of things, so taking this job one day at a time has been a natural fit for me.  I think anyone who has raised a child, is raising a child, or takes care of children for a living quickly learns to appreciate the small things in life.  These tiny things that have occurred over the last year have steered me to new levels of appreciation.  I have noticed things, seen things, and learned a few things that have brought me to where I am today.

Everyone preaches appreciate the small things in life, but it is never more true than when discussing bowel movements.  Appreciating the solidness of said bowel movement has become a ritual for me.  The joy I get when one of the Trishlets produces a solid poop is actually disturbing.  Matter of fact the whole changing process has perhaps made me a little nutty.  I say things like “hot off the presses” (when you can tell it has just come out of their body), “diaper fully loaded” (when it is packed with you know what (a word my mom doesn’t like me to say) and an obvious pun on the movie Herbie Fully Loaded ), and sometimes I sing a little song called “Henry’s (insert triplet B’s and triplet C’s name here) got the poops” in the tune of “Elmo’s got the moves.”  It’s not that I have become obsessed with their bowel movements; it’s just that the evidence shows that I have.  Hey, when you are interacting with one year olds each day and your life involves wiping babies bottoms these are the things that get you by, so step off.  Plus, to put this talk into perspective, the triplets go through approximately (12-15) diapers a day.  Times that by the 365 days I have been a nanny and that is roughly 5,000 diapers this year.  I by no means have changed all their diapers, because 1) they don’t have parents that are cruel to me, and 2) I have been separated from them for more than a day at a time, but nonetheless I do spend a significant portion of the time with them.  So I’m no math expert here but let’s just say I have been the one responsible for changing 2,000 of those diapers (may be an overestimation or perhaps an underestimation, who knows that’s why it’s called an estimation).  That’s thousands – PLURAL of diapers!!!!!!  Some parents don’t change that amount in a lifetime (I’m looking at you dads and Kim and Kanye), so I very well please can focus my attention on the excitement I get from something known as a rock-solid BM and the seemingly rote routine practice of changing a diaper.  Thank you.  It sounds like I am bragging, but I’m not, oh how I am not.

To keep with the disgusting theme, another thing I pride myself on is getting the crusty snot pieces out of their noses.  Don’t act like this is the most repulsive thing out there, if you want repulsive I’ll gladly share a story about Auggie’s (their dog) bowel movements and how they relate to the babies.  Anyway, it is a terrific sense of accomplishment when the hard stuff is finally extracted from their nose.  Don’t you agree?  You feel like a champ for accomplishing such a difficult task.  You learn to careless if you are dealing with a particularly feisty baby who gets red in the face while screaming their head off because the snot must go.  I know there is temporary discomfort, but all I’m concerned about is the feelings of elation I receive when I the job I set out to do is completed.

Another aspect of my life that I have become acutely more aware of is the expense of raising a baby.  I mean everyone is well aware that having a child is a costly thing.  Diapers alone you need to take a mortgage out for and that’s when you have one baby.  Three, forget about it.  Add formula into the equation and bam it is over.  That’s why whenever a small percentage or any residue falls from the scooper and misses their bottle I feel like I should resign on the spot, because I am essentially costing them millions.  I know I’m not perfect I just hope my employees know what my intentions are and that they aren’t to throw their money down the drain.  That’s why they had kids to begin with, right?  To throw their money down their own drain.

As the Trishlets have gotten older and wiser they have become more attentive and curious.  One of the best things about my “job” is being able to make them laugh with just a look or a noise.  Their laughter, sometimes uncontrollable, makes me feel like a comedian on a daily basis and I don’t  even have to speak (which actually may be the perfect description of my dream job – people laughing without me speaking, I guess I will be a mime then after my nannying days are over or Nelson Mandela’s funeral sign interpreter at the very least).  Yet, what is even more entertaining than making them laugh is when they laugh at themselves or when they make one of the other babies laugh.  Those scenarios really are the best.  And this portion of my post was brought to you by the Hallmark Channel.

One of the main things I have learned over this past year is what sense of entitlement babies possess.  They place such high demands on you to feed them.  They give off this air of entitlement that you must pick them up.  They shake their head when you try to do something for them but they don’t want you to.  And better yet you find them clapping for themselves all the time.  Not only are they entitled, but they are also arrogant.  They are so proud of themselves for doing anything and everything.  The act of putting a toy in a box results in clapping, they eat a kernel of corn after trying to get them to eat for a half hour results in clapping, they hit their brother upside the head, yep you got it – clapping.  Now do we have ourselves to blame for teaching them applause – partially I suppose, but it is about time they learn when it is and isn’t appropriate to clap.  And I think the round of applause they just gave Scar after singing his spotlight tune “Be Prepared” as he is plotting to kill Mufasa and Simba is the perfect example of now being the time to set them straight.  Clapping and enjoying things is wonderful, but when it relates to something naughty it must be stopped.  You got that Henry.  You got that Grace.  You got that Thomas.

And one last realization we as a collective group have made this year is we now have a complete understanding of why people send their children to daycares.  Babies destroy everything, and everything in your house becomes a hazard.  Furniture become death sentences, ledges become death sentences, curtains and blinds meet their own death, toys and paper are shredded to smithereens by some mutinous baby army, and toilets become baths.  We’ve taken steps to ensure these things don’t occur on the regular, but each day is a struggle.

I am fortunate to have had this year to be able to see day in and day out the gains these three babies have made.  They have come a long way and I am excited to see their continual development.  I posed the question “do I get a raise?” in the title and to be honest I don’t think that would be fair.  Trish and Joe have given me shelter, they have given me food, they haven’t evicted me due to the cleanliness of my room or lack thereof, they have provided chicken for me when they eat steak, and they have given me 1-ply toilet paper while they use 3.  They’ve done so much that maybe I should be asking for a deduction instead.

I’ve kept these babies alive and that is saying a lot considering the bigger entity known as Joey.  When the conversation of the day involves Joey proclaiming, “That was very nice (speaking to himself about himself).  I didn’t bite him, or punch him, or bite him,” how could you not consider the day a success.  We will see how the next year goes in terms of their survival because I just caught Gracie tiptoeing and grunting about in an attempt to turn a doorknob.  So while I’m busy appreciating the little things in my life, they without a doubt will be joining forces to outsmart me and usurp me, and then I think it may be time to pack it all in.

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First Day on the Job

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A year later