Thursday, March 4, 2010

16 Things I've Learn in 16 Months of Being a Mom

Mommy has begged us to do yet ANOTHER post as our "guest" blogger. We asked her if she's expecting to change our blog title soon to "The Riplets & Mom" or something since she always has so much to say. So, once is our mommy:

I just found out some exciting news for our family. My sister, Brittany and her husband, James are expecting a baby! She is due in October (10/10/10 how cool is that due date?!) and all of us are so excited for her. My kids will now be the "older cousins" and we'll have someone new to play with and give our hand-me-downs to!

The real fun is that I get to share with her all of my "mommy" experiences. I've already been sharing all of the ins and outs of having triplets with her. Although, she found out there is only one in there! I say that jokingly because our house talks in plural about all things"baby". We need to remember that is not the normal way for most people to have kids. Anyways-- I told Brittany that I would think about all of the things I've learned in the last 16 months of being a mom. I feel like there are so many things the books just don't tell you! So, here we go...I hope some of these will help you, Britt! Even if it is just a few things.

1. Sleep
Everyone told me while I was pregnant to "enjoy your sleep now" and "oh those first few weeks you'll never sleep". I remember Scott's grammy telling me how much she hated the 2AM feeding. I remember thinking, "Oh I'll be fine-- what's getting up to feed my precious babies once or twice a night?" Wow, I had no idea that in our house the 2AM feeding was more like the "10pm, 10:45pm, 11:30pm"...etc feeding! My kids obviously did not read the baby manual before being born because they thought they should eat about every 2 hours...AND they wanted to each eat at their own time! (this I will address next). We literally went with no more then 45 minutes sleep for the ENTIRE night and we did this for probably the first 10 weeks. Luckily, we had family around to help us nap otherwise I think we would've died. Literally.

This may not effect you much now, but maybe when you have your 2nd child if they are close together. For us, we were told over and over again to "make sure you get them on the same schedule!" We thought, yeah obviously. Little did we know how hard it is to get three newborns to want to eat, sleep, and be up together. So, not only at night were we getting up every 2 hours but we were feeding one & changing & burping and then the next would wake and then the 3rd would wake up. By the time we finished the 3rd it was about 1 1/2 hours later. So you guessed it- baby #1 was gearing to get up for feeding time all over again! My only advice for a new mother is to try to get them on a schedule so that when the next baby comes whether its a year or 2 later you can try to find at least 1 nap they can do together so you can have some time for you! Also- I noticed putting my kids on a schedule really helped them sleep better during nap times and at night.
3.Being modest
I remember being in the hospital after the kids were born and the nurse coming in to show me how to pump. My mom and Scott were in the room with me and I said they could stay since they'd both be home with me when I'd be pumping. Little did I know what a crazy sight I'd be pumping. I remember Scott watching in awe (and I'm pretty sure disgust) at me. At that point I told him to go away and please don't watch this! Too late, he was mortified and I'm pretty sure he'll never look at me the same again. That is just one of the many things as a pregnant woman and mom you'll experience that you'll think "wow- I would've never guessed I'd be subjected to that. EVER!" Just wait for exams towards the end of your pregnancy and then of course all of the fun things your body will do to you while you are in labor. Now, as a mom all of those not so modest moments helped me to be a stronger woman. I notice we'll go out in public and everyone will stare at us. I really don't care anymore. I know I have things to get done and we just do it. If you would've told me we'd look like a circus, I would never have believed you! So-- my advice is don't stress the small stuff. Get out if you can with your new baby and remember all babies will cry or have a fit in public at some point! Let it just roll off your shoulder.

I always heard moms tell me that they just didn't have time to eat or that they ate the left over chicken nugget and a french fry for lunch today. I am a lover of food, so I always told myself that will never happen to me. I will eat and I will eat something good each day. Wow, was I wrong! By the time I get my kids fed and then clean up I am lucky if I have a minute to make myself something to eat, let alone eat it! So, now I've learned to either make extra of what they are having or make sure I have a lot of one-handed food ready to eat. Either that or I don't eat.

This was a joke in our house. I thought from about 8 weeks on, that Addison was teething. I mean, why else would she be crying and crying and drooling if it wasn't teething?! We gave them teething medicine and Tylenol for months waiting for that first tooth to pop. We didn't get a single tooth until 9 months old! Jordan didn't get a tooth at all until a year. At our house teething always means a bad night and few days. We thought all of the teethers we had would do the trick and calm our kids, but none of them really liked them. Instead-- all three will roll up their blankets and stuff them in their mouths. So, when all else fails and you think they are teething try the blanket.

6.Messy clothing
I was always hearing moms say that I'd be changing my kids outfits a lot each day. I remember thinking "wow, I must be a supermom because I never have to change their outfits!" Ok, I was speaking too soon. Mine did great the first 10 months and then I started see what moms were talking about. Once they started to eat finger foods, life with clean clothes was gone. Addison always drools her sippy down the front of her shirts and the boys always wipe their messy hands on everything in site. My only advice here is the early months I'd put a bib on them each morning to catch the drool from the psuedo-teething my kids were doing. That helped save us from a lot of wet tops.

Speaking of bibs, we realized our favorite bibs are any of the plastic ones. Especially the ones with a pocket to catch the food that misses their mouths. We started out having them wear the cloth ones (we used for drooling each day) and we were always doing loads and loads of laundry. Until we found our plastic bibs by Bumbkins. These things are the best ever and you can just wipe them off with a sponge or a wipe when they are done. So much easier then doing all of that laundry.

I was that person that thought I needed to have Huggies or Pampers for diapers. I had heard moms say they used generic kinds and how great they were, but I didn't believe they could be as good as the name brand ones. After a few months of using name brands, I was convinced by a few other multiple moms to try out Up & Up brand diapers from Target. We tried them and the kids did so much better in them! We didn't have the leaks we had from the other brands and they actually were cheaper by $7/box!

Speaking of diapers though, we also weren't aware of the joy that an overnight diaper brings to parents. We started using Huggies Overnights around 4 months old (I think) and what a difference our nights were. The kids actually started sleeping through the night for us! (ok not all of the time but it was definitely a lot more and for longer periods of sleep). The only trick with overnight diapers is that their sizes start at size 3. Those are also sometimes hard to find so check online at or other baby sites and order them.

10.Swim Diapers
Do you sense a theme here? I just have learned so much about all kinds of diapers since becoming a mom. Last summer I was so excited to take the kids to the pool. I had it all planned out in my head how it would go and since I am a very organized person, I decided to get them in their swim diapers and swims suits AND sunscreened before we left. I figured that way when we were in the sun everyone was ready and protected. We headed for the pool and when I took them each out of their car seats everyone was soaking wet! I had no idea that swim diapers actually don't hold in wet! They are really made to just keep the poop out of the water and in their diaper. I learned the hard way, oops. So my advice is-- put the swim diaper on right before you put them in the pool or water.

11.Diapering Boys
A final thought on diapers. Always point your boy's pee pee down as you put their new diaper on. it saves on a lot of leaky diapers.

12.Mum Mums
I had never heard of Mum Mums until I had my kids. They are like the secret snack of toddlers and babies that are just trying out finger foods. We have problems finding them around here, but our Wal Mart does carry them. They are these surf board looking snacks that melt in your kids mouths. They can hold them and suck or bite them and my kids just love them. I also love them because they aren't that messy and its a great snack for a car ride. I've tried puffs in the car and we end up with them everywhere.

I was always that mom that thought "my kids will eat veggies and love them, I'll just have them try it all and give them it all of the time" Wow, was I wrong! I just figured the kids that had troubles liking veggies must just not get to try them a lot or eat a variety of them. I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get my kids to actually like them! Here's a few tricks I've learned to get them to eat them. I make them sandwiches and then place peas or anything that can mash easily into the sandwich like a spread. I then smash the sandwich together nice and tight and use a pizza cutter to cut the entire sandwich into bite size pieces. My kids will eat the bread and have no idea what they are eating inside. My other trick is to put veggies that are the same color as something else on their plate and then they don't realize they are picking them up and eating them.

14. Pop Up Books
My kids LOVE pop up books, but for all of the wrong reasons. All three of mine tear out every, single pop up picture we have. I've learned that we will not be buying those types of books until they are much older. They all love the sound books though.

I always thought I'd be so good at picking out toys for my kids. I am the worst though and it took me this long to final admit it. When it comes to buying your kids toys or asking for toys for gifts, first ask moms that have kids just slightly older then your own. They really know what toys are the right ones to get. We've spend a lot of money on toys we "thought" would be perfect and the kids never touch. If all else, give them something that isn't a toy that they can't kill themselves with and I guarantee they'll love it! My kids can't get enough of my Tupperware bowls.
16.Enjoy Your Time
My first year as a mom was a very stressful one. Between getting used to my babies, getting used to my new schedule and getting used to having very little "me" time-I missed out on a lot of moments. I know you'll have hard days, we all do! (even if some moms won't admit it to you) Just try to remember in even a year from now you won't get this time again to enjoy them as a baby or toddler or whatever stage they are in. I still struggle with this, so try to remember it goes by fast and whatever is stressing you, it will pass! I promise.

Thanks for making it through my long post. Here's a few pictures as a reward!


  1. We are going through a diaper change right now, and I never even thought of using overnight diapers to help them sleep better. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. Thanks for the advice. :) This will definitely come in handy when the baby comes!

  3. Enjoy those little ones.
    Time does pass you by!!

  4. Jamie, You are an amazing mom. What lucky kids you have. They do grow up so fast. I can't believe my oldest will be in school this fall.