After my morning routine with the triplets, I arrived at work at 8:30 and went through my emails and to do list for the day. I paused for a minute to dream of a generic great adventure, standing high above the world on a peak with amazing vistas, I inhaled the crisp clean air, imagining the challenges I overcame to get there. I snapped back to reality with a work related phone call and then decided to check Facebook where I saw that Matilda Rapaport had died after being caught in an avalanche in South America, undoubtedly the same type of adventure I yearned for. I cried – right there in my office chair. Paralyzed, I thought maybe I should take a break and walk my dog, but I decided to write this. I didn’t personally know Matilda, but she became the kind of person you thought you knew because we had a lot of mutual friends and I followed her on Instagram. I knew she was 30, just married. Though our lives are totally different, I can remember when I was 29 and recently married and all the great things that have happened since. I’m sad because she seemed like the kind of person that would’ve loved what the next chapter of life would bring. Last year, I had a similar reaction to the passing of Liz Daley, another beautiful soul who I may have only met once, but felt connected to. I don’t know why these deaths are so sobering. I feel I’ve gained a sense of risk adversity were I would not ski terrain in snow conditions where avalanches could occur – I mean, I won’t even bike scary things since having the triplets. As females, we’re also reassured in avalanche courses that we are more risk averse – statistics show it. But statistics do not mean it will never happen. I’m sad today for the years these women, who were smart, adventurous, loving, and fun, won’t get to spend on our planet, because we need more people like them now, more than ever. Sending love to Matilda’s friends and family.
We did it. We successfully took a real family vacation earlier this month to Kauai. My husband and I had been talking about going to Hawaii for years now figuring that we needed to take advantage of living on the west coast. We have mostly spent our vacation time and money visiting family in the midwest and on the east coast. I was committed to making Hawaii happen before the triplets turned 2 and would need their own plane tickets, so I started scouring the internet for cheap fares. The perfect fare from Reno popped up and I jumped at it!
After much research and internal deliberation, I decided on Kauai as it seemed ridiculously beautiful, somewhat mellow, and small enough to not feel like we had to seem a ton of things with triplets in tow. I figured we could book a house near a beach and try to walk most places – that way there would be an element of relaxation. Seriously, anytime you load triplets in the car, it feels like work! We rented a fantastic place in Ha’ena on the North Shore of Kauai off AirBnB that literally couldn’t have been more perfect for 14 month old triplets.
Kauai – go. It’s unbelievable. It has the perfect climate. You can swim, hike, snorkel with sea turtles, or just nap in a hammock. Hanalei Bay is probably the best beginner surf spot I’ve been too (summer only likely). The boys flourished in their new surroundings becoming more adventurous at the beach each day. Adjusting to the time change lets you wake early and see some incredible sunrises.
We didn’t do everything perfectly, but overall things went smoothly and here are some of my top recommendations.
1. Buy these zip car seat bags and pack a few more things in with the car seats. We used NRS cam straps to strap our Inglesina high chairs to the seats with a baby blanket. All airlines allow you to check a car seat and stroller per child with no charge.
2. If you rent a house, ask them to borrow pack n plays for you. If not, look for some baby rental spots in the town your visiting. Craigslist is a good spot to look.
3. We brought our own car seats, high chairs, and hiking backpacks to carry babies. We gate checked the hiking backpacks. You can pack some extra things in the backpacks. We can’t recommend the Osprey Poco enough! We have THREE!
4. We hit Costco when we got into town and stocked up on food for the week and bought a wagon. We figured that if we didn’t like the wagon, we could take it back before we went home. We liked it though and checked it as a stroller on the way home.
5. Bring a stuffed toy for each kid to snuggle with on the plane. Also, feet pajamas keep airport germs off more of their bodies and encourage sleeping!
6. Buy a few new books (indestructibles are good because they pack small) and some toys at the dollar store and pull them out on the plane.
7. Download some videos on a kindle or ipad. My kids wouldn’t wear earphones, so I just played it off the ipad and it was loud enough on the plane that others couldn’t hear it.
8. Snacks, duh.
9. Carry on extra clothes for accidents, extra clothes for adults too.
10. Bring extra bottles, sippies or straw cups, pacifiers and a few extra adults if you can swing it!
11. Pack some simple baby proofing stuff for your rental – plug guards, hair ties, zip ties, and cam straps were amazing and versatile.
12. If you have any space at all left in luggage, pack it with diapers and wipes. It just saves you a stop when you get there and money if you’re going to a place like Hawaii!
13. Make memories and have the time of your life!
I get all the guilts. It’s probably my Catholic upbringing. Thanks mom. Maybe the new Pope will change this practice? At any rate, whenever the triplets tear apart Lego structures or knock over a tower, I like to tell them “nothing is permanent” Maybe they’ll be Buddhists.
#1. Mom guilt – obviously. Is there a mom that doesn’t get this? I recently met my goal of exclusive breast milk for a year though and this has relieved a bit of the guilt. Now most of the guilt comes from simply not having enough time to spend with the triplets because I’m either working, doing adult chores, or trying to get outside and do something fun.
A video proving I’m into “free-range parenting”
#2. Skier guilt – this is also commonly called FOMO or fear of missing out and it doesn’t just apply to skiing but that was fresh on my mind this winter. This guilt manifests itself with the following internal thoughts, “there’s good snow out there, I should ski it!” or “I haven’t skied Tallac this year yet” or “Lines are filled in here in Tahoe that haven’t been for years and I haven’t skied any of them!” Just thinking about this is overwhelming, makes we want to run to my car, get my ski stuff together, and drive to the end of Fallen Leaf lake and ski Halls of the Gods.
#3. Environmental guilt – Triplets increased my carbon footprint. No doubt about it. Shear time constraints have forced me to drive more. Shear number of family members have forced us to own bigger cars. At least I didn’t fly anywhere this year to ski. Every year I want to compost and I can’t seem to get it together. Oh yeah and SO MANY DIAPERS = SO MUCH GUILT!
By the way, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is now free to watch on-line!
#4. Community guilt – Attending that community meeting, friend’s social gathering, fundraiser, etc. is going to send me off the deep end. Sometimes I have to go to bed at 8:30. Other times I have to use the time between 8:30 and 9:30 to obsessively prepare wholesome food to assuage mom guilt as described above.
#5. Work guilt – I don’t have much to add about this except that in busy periods I wish I could do more work. Doing more work leads to more #1, #2, and #4 guilts – maybe a bit less #3 guilt since my job is to help improve the environment. Is that a catch 22? Or is it ironic? Damn it Alanis! I bet Buddhism holds the answer.
#6. Non-paleo guilt – I just ate 3 cookies while writing this post.
1 day until the triplets turn 1! Unbelievable. Declan and Beacan have been standing on their own and trying to take steps. Cormac is close behind. He loves standing and swaying back and forth.
Martha came to town a few weeks ago and I had a great time showing here around.
We capped off the week with a showing of Shifting Ice and Changing Tides at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in Tahoe City. It was my first time seeing it on the big screen! Very cool! If the Winter Wildlands Alliance Film Festival is playing near you, check it out!
Everyone says your kids childhood will go by fast. It has, but fast is inevitable when your birthday is in months. But amazingly, I looked at the date today and realized I’m only 37 days away from my breastfeeding goal of 1 year. WOW!
I’m very goal-oriented. I used to keep track of all my ski days with my goal being to ski at least 100 days a year for 5 years. When I accomplished that, I got a bit more lax about my records and, during my 7th season in Tahoe, Scout ate a few seasons of my ski journal and I just stopped keeping track. I only skied 11 days last year due to the triplet pregnancy… but rebranding myself as a skier mom made me curious about how parenthood impacts my days on the hill. This season, I’ve adopted the motto “quality over quantity.” A lot of long time skiers or ski professionals have this motto. In the past, I was sure I wasn’t a good enough skier to be selective about the days I skied. I needed 10,000 hours to master this sport and was far from it having grown up in the flat lands! There’s no time to relentlessly improve my skiing, only time to have fun in the mountains and, if I think about it, it is still a luxury I’m fortunate to have.
Thanks to the Vail Resort Epic Mix app, I was able to figure out how many resort days I had this year: 32 days split between Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Breckenridge. Next up, I had to figure out my backcountry days – I went through my phone and had usually taken a photo so I noted all these dates. Then I tried to rack my baby brain for when I had not taken photos – too cold, windy, alone, etc – I counted 13 backcountry days. So 45 ski days this year as a mom of infant triplets – not too shabby! Of course, I couldn’t have done this without my amazing husband, my own mom, my in laws, my forever Swedish friend, and our new au pair! It takes a village – and I’m not talking about a cookie cutter ski village!
Who knows, maybe I’ll get 100 ski days in this year!
Winter has arrived early in Lake Tahoe this year. After 4 consecutive years of sub-par winters, the early snow is a welcome gift. After taking last year off, I’m excited to ski, but knowing I’m also busier than I’ve ever been and so I feel a need to make ski days “count.” This is a somewhat dangerous way to think if you’re traveling in the backcountry, so it’s required me to shift my attitude, avoid social media a bit, and revel in the journey. Here are a few lessons from the 5 days I’ve been skiing so far this winter…
1. I have to be efficient. I often pump on the way to and from skiing. I’m pretty sure a Sierra at Tahoe employee caught a glimpse of my milk makers while changing into my pumping bra after skiing a few runs up there early season. Solution: wear pumping bra under sports bra to avoid embarrassing encounters!
2. Pumping en route to a backcountry ski, I decided to forgo bringing a coolor and simply buried my pumping parts in the snow near my truck. As I skied back to the truck, I noticed ravens circling above. I panicked – they had the ziploc bag my pumping parts and milk was in. Where was everything!?!? AHHHH! I literally started yelling! I hurried over to the bury location and, sure enough, nothing was there. My friend had picked up the scattered parts, but there was one missing. I looked around in despair, but spotted 2 of the 3 birds perched on a tree just a few hundred feet away. I waded through the thigh deep snow and saw a little pock mark in the snow. I reached down and pulled out the missing part! WOW! Solution: Bring a cooler, even birds love breast milk!
3. When, it’s cold, it’s COLD. Left my pump in the car and had to hook it back up after a few hours of skiing in the cold. Solution: be tough, which you already are if you’re a mom.
4. Messing up has bigger consequences. I was skiing around at Kirkwood when I swiped a tree. I heard a jingle. I stopped and checked my pocket. It was ripped and the keys had fallen out. STAY CALM. I have nerves of steel thanks to the multiple times I’ve had to accomplish things with 3 babies crying. My eyes darted, I saw a dark spot right behind me in the snow. The keys. Phew. My babies would not be going hungry. Solution: practice makes perfect… stay calm.
5. Weighing 205 lbs in March 2015 had a way of keeping my legs strong. I’ve lost all the weight, but exercising twice a week since then has made the impact of early season skiing a lot harder! I’m sore! Solution: I only really have 2 or 3 hrs to ski anyway, so ha, but maybe I’ll pull out my alpine set up a few more times this year!
6. MOM GUILT. This is unavoidable, but I’m such a happier person after skiing and I know the triplets see this when I come home and dive right into hanging out with them. Solution: Go skiing!
Four months in and having triplets is starting to feel normal. I’m starting to look like myself again. The remnants of a multiple pregnancy are clearing up and I only have 5 lbs left to lose. I credit my attempt to provide breast milk for three babies with the weight coming off quickly. The sight of my stomach guarantees I’ll be in a one piece this summer, but I’m hopeful that goes back to “normal” too someday.
The boys are doing great. They get more fun everyday. We’ve completed two trips with them. One “practice trip” to the Eastern Sierra over Memorial Day weekend where I got to ski! And one longer trip just a week ago to Hood River, Oregon for a wedding. They are good travelers so far, but the logistics are exhausting. It forces me to slow down a bit and try to do just one thing a day. At the end of the day, I feel the energy has been sucked from me because if breast milk is energy, it literally has been.
Now that I’m back to work, I have much less time for recreational pursuits. While on leave, I was running, riding bikes, or swimming at least 4 times a week. Now I’m lucky if I get in one bike ride in a month. I’m considering selling my Santa Cruz Bronson because most days I’d rather hang out with the boys anyway (or catch up on some sleep)! My new go to work out is “housewife hill” or the Old Meyers Grade. Pushing 2 out of 3 triplets up that thing is a legitimate work out. A friend pushes the odd triplet out and we spend time catching up. Yep, I’m a total mom.
A few days ago, around 10 pm, I came to the realization that I’ve never tried so hard at something in my life as I’ve tried to be a great mom, which is saying a lot, because I’ve done quite a few really hard things! Luckily, many have helped prepare me for this ultimate challenge.
To keep up on the triplets, follow @tahoetriplets on Instagram. I really want to get on the Ellen Show! Let me know if you can help make that happen!