Category Archives: Observations

30 Permissible Acts/Things that happen when taking care of triplets: Part Two

The sequel to Part One.

1.  You put them in charge of the utensils.


2.  You DO NOT disrupt them when they are at work.


3.  You only venture to the beach if this is a guarantee:

10514510_10204507202382812_7273461994243515408_n(Photo Credit: K. Liburdi)

4.  You grant them clearance to have pets but only ones that they can wear around their necks.



5.  You have diaper races on the soft, cushy, flat surfaces of the house.

IMG954028(Photo credit: K. Liburdi)

6.  You promote women power which at the baby levels means a baby woman using her persuasive way to convince a baby man to go places where he can be locked up.


7.  You agree, if they want to be like mommy, who am I to stop them.

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8.  You splurge on expensive toys.


9.  You participate in the health craze by having them eat clean.


10.  You outsource your playground responsibilities to a three year old.


11.  You are constantly playing the fun for hours game of can you spot the missing baby?

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12.  You let them have their first sleepover.


13.  You dress them in attire that only speaks the truth.




14.  You let them drive but only while standing, and only while backwards, and only while pantless.


15.  You just can’t please everyone.


16.  You know above all else as a nanny safety is your primary concern and you will stop at nothing to ensure that.


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17.  You approve of siblings treating other siblings as pets.


18.  You value the appearance and are pleased with clothes that fit well.


19.  You realize the importance of keeping a consistent routine and schedule.  That means napping must be done at the same time everyday and snacks should be offered at predictable times and eaten in predictable places.



20.  You rely on the older one to bring home the bacon, so they might have a shot at all of them attending college.

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21.  You play Where’s Waldo at the park, with Thomas being Waldo.


22.  You speed dial pest control to somehow assist you with this terrifying nightmare:


23.  You monitor their whereabouts with the Lindsay Lohan brand of ankle bracelets.


24.  You allow them to have pool time but only after they have completed the proper maintenance and repair work.

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25.  You applaud their impeccable folding abilities and on point organizational skills.


26.  You immediately prevent situations where they are alone like this from happening just so you can stay one step ahead of them in their plot to take you down.

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27.  You don’t have to go to trial to know which Trishlet is the culprit.


28.  You pray for anyone that happens to have a hotel room adjacent in the same hotel as them.  (And yes that is 12:34 A.M.)


29.  You still can’t get over the fact that your sister gave birth to three babies at once.


30.  And finally your house in a constant state of this:


because you can’t always win.











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.


First Day on the Job


A year later




Baby puppies or Puppy babies?

Observation is a daily practice for me.  As Henry pushed this book below in my face while uttering more for the twelve hundredth time, it occurred to me that babies are just like the puppies being described in the pages.  Take a gander, see if the evidence speaks for itself, and then maybe you will be able to answer the age old question of: Are babies really puppies, or are puppies really babies?



 (Obviously in their natural habitat)


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 (So much energy they managed to all crash in Tommy’s crib.)


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 (These babies don’t so much play side by side one another but rather pin and throw in some WWE moves on one another.)

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 (Joey doesn’t have a shot against the sneaky Grace.)




 (And chewing hard objects is good for their immune systems too.)




 (If they demand their snacks in a dog bowl, who am I to stop them.)



(A baby’s motto, just like a puppy’s, is to rest wherever and whenever.)



(The playing never ends for these three.)

So there you have it.  For my money I’d take babies over puppies any day because diapers, duh.

*Book seen here: Puppies by Missy Kavanaugh and Sandra Gurman

30 Signs You or Someone You know are Candy Crush Saga Addicts


Even if you aren’t a partaker, you’ve heard of it, and don’t act like you haven’t.  The fad that has swept not just this nation but the world, has consumed countless of hours in many of our lives.  The most telling thing I believe to this phenomenon is I have yet to come across a person who has started playing this game and not immediately been sucked in.  The habits we all now strangely possess can truly only point to the signs of an addiction.  We are a world that has become addicted to a colorful – some may say mindless – game, and I am honored (embarrassed – how dare you think that) to present to you a list of the attributes that confirm your addiction:

1)       You have real conversations with your friends about what you call the variety of                   candies/shapes you encounter.  To one it is a cookie, to another it is a disco ball,                 when in actuality it most likely resembles a chocolate pop’em donut with sprinkles               that I would devour in milliseconds if I could.

2)      You close your eyes at night and the only thing you can picture are yellow lemon                  drop candies, next to red jelly beans, next to orange cough drops, next to blue                      lollipops heads, and then your brain goes haywire as you try to imaginarily swipe                  candies away from your memory.

3)      You think you actually have some skills when you surpass a Facebook friend on your          quest to nothingness.

4)      You get a text notice about your data usage reaching its max for the month and you            know the only course of action is to instantly shut down all candy crush playing                    activities.  Then, you quickly follow that up by thinking what data plan needs to be                purchased in order to withstand the intensity of my playing habits.

5)      You ponder self-inflicted amputation to your index finger when it betrays you and                  swipes in the wrong direction screwing up all your plans and ultimately ruining your              day.

6)      You quit the game for weeks at a time thinking it will give you some perspective on              life and it doesn’t at all.  All it does is yank you back in without even a question.

7)      You have pity on those who are too cool to link to Facebook and will never                            understand these so-called quests they must complete in order to advance                          episodes.

8)      You download it for your mom even though she is quite clueless when it comes to              phone gadgets and you give her positive encouragement as she completes one                  board a month.  She also relays her conspiracy theories that she believes they dumb          down the level for her and sometimes even just clear it on their own after she has                spent several weeks on a particularly stubborn level.

9)      You have a friend openly admit she adds her own sound effects when getting the                holy grail of mixing a pop’em with a striped candy doing a wonderful number on your            board, and you find her cooler for it.

10)   You pass judgment (with and without reason) on those who spend their hard earn               money on extras or bonuses that allow you to beat boards more easily and are                   essentially the quick fixes to catapult you farther in the saga.  (This is a free app and           in my eyes it must always stay that way or else they win, and let’s face it they have             already have won, and if you are asking who they is I have no idea – maybe King                 Candy.)

11)   You sit in the same room as people you should be conversing with but you are too             busy crushin’ it, and that’s exactly what you say if someone dares to try to talk to                 you: “Sorry I’m crushin’ it!”

12)   You can talk about strategy and see the value in it, but then you realize this game               relies heavily on luck and you hate it for that fact.

13)   You contemplate not sending a “friend” a life or extra moves because you are a jerk.

14)   You think to yourself: “I gotta start playing right this moment because I want my 30               minutes penalty to begin ticking which would result in the optimization of the total                 amount of lives I can garner throughout the course of the day.”

15)   You have verbally proclaimed to others that: “Some boards are just plain annoying,             while others are annoying but enjoyable.”  And you have no idea what that means or           what the point of your speaking that sentence was for.

16)   You play on your phone, on your iPad, on your computer, on your significant other’s             iPad so you can have 5 lives on each apparatus, and you feel great about it.

17)   Your sister quits Facebook and of course has to notify you that she will no longer be           sending you lives, and you are genuinely upset by this disturbing chain of events, and         then you consider defriending her in real life for her extremely thoughtless blunder.

18)   You still haven’t come to a conclusion on what you despise more bombs, tornadoes,         reappearing chocolates, or concrete blocks.

19)   You come across this post on the internet and your mind is blown.  Changing the               time on your phone is pure genius and really should be at the top of the list for signs           of a Candy Crush addict. (I also feel a bit sad that I am just discovering this stealthy             tactic.)

20)   You then come across (on Wikipedia of course) the staggering number that this                 game makes $633,000 a day and that was in July last year, and in the U.S. only, and           just in the iTunes store.  Talk about mind being blown.  Then you pray to God to grant         you the powers to create an app in the very near future.

21)   You instantaneously feel akin with a stranger you catch participating in the game.

22)   You internally get mad at one of the three if not all three of the babies you are                       watching if they happen to do something that leads to you mentally making a misstep         in a level that you have been trying to conquer for what seems eternity.

23)   You take offense to the new give up tab that pops up after failing to complete a level           and wish it was the good ole days of just ending the game and waiting your time in             the penalty box before continuing on with your dissent into antisocial madness.

24)   You were once one of those people that sternly declares, “I don’t play games on my            phone.”  And almost a year later you now know the error in your ways.

25)   You’ve played it in your car with the Bluetooth on and the sound pounding through               your speakers wondering what the heck your life has come to, and then after 45                 minutes or so have passed you decide it is time enter your house after a long day’s             work.

26)   You, despite the previous sign, have thought about physically harming someone who         plays the game with the sound on.

27)   You justify your time playing the saga and not being productive in other facets of life             by proclaiming: “It is a great stress relief and everyone needs stress relievers in their           life.”

28)   You think impossible exists, but you know of others who have triumphed through the           most troublesome level you thought there was, and then you learn the life lesson that         impossible is always possible.

29)   You have serious discussions (in your head) about what you will do when you reach           the end.  How will your life look?  Will you actually have to get a life?

30)   You spend your free time (not crushin’, obviously) writing this.

So if you relate to just a few of the signs mentioned you probably are an addict.  If you relate to some of them you definitely are an addict.  If you relate to all of them I see us getting along quite well in our mutual patheticness.  And if you have yet to step into the candy crush mix disregard everything I’ve written and know you might not become an addict, but also just know in the end you will.  Furthermore, to help those who call this game mindless, pointless, a massive time waster, I equate it to someone who has never tried Chick-fil-A.  You can resist it all you want but your first experience with it will alter your life forever, and that’s exactly what the Candy Crush Saga does.  The first step to recovery is acknowledging you have a problem.  And let me tell you at one point I was a bit ashamed of my gamer ways, but now I can openly say I am Debbie and I am a Candy Crush addict.  Though Candy Crush may have consumed me as a person it does not define me as a person.  It just places me into the group with the other 500 million plus who have jumped on the bandwagon, and if that isn’t a distinct way to define your life than I don’t know what is.

Are you an addict?  Do you know an addict?  If so, what characteristics/signs have I failed to mention on this list?

And just remember, don’t be ashamed to keep crushin’ it!

7 Types of Parents found at a PBS Live Children’s Show

I recently attended a live children’s show with my 3 year old nephew.  The show’s title was Getting Wild with the Wild Kratts based off the PBS cartoon/educational zoology hit Wild Kratts.  Basically two brothers, surname Kratt, are zoologists who begin (and end) each episode in human form, turn into animated characters, and go on adventures using creature powers to teach children awesome animal facts such as the sex of an alligator is determined by the temperature that the egg is being incubated in.  So if you are an adult watching this show start paying attention and learn something for pete’s sake.  To understand Joey’s excitement and the excitement for any child in attendance, it would be like if I was going to a show where Coach Taylor and Tami Taylor were the stars on the stage, and then Riggins made an appearance.  That’s right these kids were amped.  Now I’ve worked in a preschool, I’ve frequented Sesame place and Disney World, and I am a nanny for small children so being in a setting where the population of screaming children outnumber the supervising adults is far from unfamiliar territory to me.  And being in an environment such as this one lent itself perfectly for me to take some mental notes, sit back, and observe not those crazy children, but instead the adults surrounding me.  As a result I discovered a few categories of the types of parents that attend a PBS live children’s show and here they are:

  1. Parents that dress their children like the characters.  Honestly these parents are ok in my book (to some extent).  If the character’s wardrobe is cheap and easy, then it flys.  If you are spending more than twenty dollars to dress multiple children up in attire (remind you not on Halloween) I’m not sure I can relate to you because you must be a millionaire.  I guess if the child insists then I understand, but at the same time I sort of don’t understand.  And if you are one of these parents I hope we can still be friends because nowadays I associate with parents, and I think my introverted self is telling me I am open to more friends.
  2. Parents that dress as the characters themselves.  This unfortunately is something that does actually occur, because I have witnessed it with my own eyes.  My feelings toward this type of parent is initially what’s really going on with this person, and then I think can you really fault someone for getting into the spirit on a day spent with their child.  Probably not.  But you can definitely fault them for getting in the aisle and elbowing a child out of the way in attempt to garner a high-five from one of the brothers a.k.a the stars of the show.  So yes if you are wearing a character/real person’s attire to a children’s show the need for a second once over is necessary because clearly you are capable and willing to do things that may compromise the safety of children.  And yes you most certainly know who you are if you fit into this category.
  3. Parents that buy several gifts for their child at the money scheming gift table set up like a CYO concession stand at the front of the theater.  This line was massive when we first arrived and luckily Joey is only 3 so he wasn’t fully aware of what was luring the droves.  Not that I have something against buying a little memento, I have something against waiting in a line of that size for a children’s t-shirt for $25, then additional costs if you want to add your name onto it.  But cynicism is never the answer.  That’s why we booked it just when the Kratt brothers were taking their bows and the crowd was still going wild, wild, wild for them, and we thus became the first to purchase a little something that Joey could enjoy.  And let me reiterate one thing not several, and I did it because I wanted to not because he asked.  What an angel he is (jk…..or maybe I’m not joking, who knows).
  4. Parents that reason with their children on why they didn’t purchase anything from aforementioned gift table by explaining to them the shotty workmanship that was used in constructing the gift.  Now at a PBS live show there has to be one, two, or hundreds in the audience that knit, sew, can make crafts, etc.  I mean that is kind of PBS’s demographics, no?  And the woman behind me must be one of those people as she told her children that the Velcro would fall off the vest for sale in minutes and don’t even mention the size of the vest because come on you two kiddies would outgrow it in days.  I get it.  Parents gotta do what they gotta do.
  5. Parents who jump at the opportunity to ask questions when they move to the interactive portion of the show.  Microphones were being passed around for children to ask their idols essentially any question to find out a fact that they were dying to know about animals.  You know like what’s your middle name was on par for the types of questions that were being asked.  Then a woman, obviously a mom or perhaps just a superfan, a few rows in front of us grabs the mike and asks, “Will they be doing an episode on lemurs?”  First off no question is a dumb question needs to be revoked in this scenario, because while it may not be a dumb question you are a dumb adult for hogging the spotlight that was supposed to be for the children.  Just think of the children the next time your pressing inquiries about the appearance of lemurs on an animated children’s show so desperately need to be answered.
  6. Parents who fall asleep.  You win, that is it.  I’ve seen it happen multiple times, always the father, and always impressed by their ability to tune everything out and catch up on some zzzz’s.  Then again my Dad can fall asleep while you are talking to him, so maybe I’m not that impressed.
  7. Parents that get tapped on the shoulder by the 79 yr. old event staff worker to can it with the illegal videotaping of the show.  I like that shows like this employ older event people because not only do you get a sense of safety, you also get a sense of excitement at the thought of a team of elderly workers having to escort a parent out of the theater for refusing to put down the video camera.  Nowadays with the internet you can pretty much access anything and watch a clip of whatever your heart desires on Youtube.  There really is no need for a parent to set up his tripod and film a show that their child probably won’t even like next year, and can probably also find in seconds on the web, and then watch on a continuous loop until they need eyeball replacements.  But who am I to judge.  I recall as a child watching on repeat a theatrical version of Peter Pan, you know the one were Peter was played by a girl.  And furthermore, my father has VHS copies of every single ride at Disney World (legally taken and illegally taken) even the riveting, fast paced Carousal of Progress.  So maybe there are parents out there who just like to have everything on film.  What should we do, sue them?  Um, actually yes there is a good chance that my Dad can retroactively be sued for his antics.  But lawyers just know he didn’t make any copies and he didn’t sell any tapes.  He just belittled a customer service worker at Epcot into giving his family including his four “very upset” daughters free passes because of a park closing too early for his liking, and that is it.

Of course there were all sorts of parents in attendance.  You know like the young couples from the city with the fit mom in knee-high boots and the dad just wearing some wool cardigan sweater over a plaid shirt without a jacket.  Or the woman who questions the use of technology and how the show could have been better like she’s some sort of movie critic as we were exiting.  From the types of parents I listed I think there is someone we all know who would fit into each of these categories and do all these things that I observed.  And he is none other than:

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Danny Tanner

I’m not a parent so I really have no business categorizing and discussing a subset of humanity that I don’t even belong to.  These are merely my observations.  And for the record the type of parent I was that day was the one who goes to the dollar store beforehand to have treats in my pocket to keep the Joey boy in check, and then the one who participates in a little post show jog on the sidewalk to the car with my little Joey who eventually takes a tumble, and then loudly accuses me of hurting him, followed up by him refusing to walk with me again for all the jovial families around us to hear.  We recovered quickly though because I told him I had M&M’s in the car.  So next time you are at a children’s show look around and find that parent who is sleeping and thinks that the guise of darkness makes him invisible when in reality it doesn’t, it just may make him a genius.