Yum yum

 Taste buds are an amazing thing. I feel a big responsibility to ensure that my children get a balanced diet. As someone who has struggled with dieting for all my life I feel that it is my job to try and help my children get the right start. Obesity is a really serious issue and it is a complicated problem. While my children are babies with no health issues, I think there are things I can do to help. I control how much excercise we get, what food we eat and I am the first voice they hear. I am the one who must ensure they are fed and clothed.  These are the fundamentals but I also hold responsibility on how they see their beauty, intelligence, safety and confidence. Most of the time I don’t even pass a thought about these things but as a single mother it is all on me.

I influence what my children think of themselves. I grew up with very low self esteem and self worth. I have spent years working on this and will probably be working on this all my life. (like most women!) I know many will think I am being over dramatic and what they’re fed now doesn’t have such an impact but it is my belief that from the moment that child is conceived you have a responsibility to give it the best chance you can. So although I am skipping forward the years – that first spoonful of mush means something.  The same could be argued about breastfeeding or avoiding rubbish in your diet while pregnant.  I am far from a saint and have made plenty of mistakes.  I have also done lots of things others would question.  No, my girls did not get breastfed, yes, I did eat plenty of ice cream and pizza while pregnant and I don’t adhere to the ‘Baby Whisperer’ style of parenting.  So I don’t have a saintly approach to life or motherhood but think there are some things I can do.

With my first boy everything was organic, homemade and time was spent planning each meal.  This time round time is a real issue.  Trying to fit everything into one day is not easy!  Plus the level of consumption means nothing lasts too long in the fridge.  I do have a cupboard full of ready made packs of baby food and have had to dip into there on occasion.  It will be much easier when we are all eating the same thing! But unfortunately we have another few months to get through.  I love to cook but the constant pealing of carrots, apples, pears etc can be hard to fit into the day.

Having said that, there are some staples that we couldn’t live without.

  • Organic Baby Rice
  • Nutri bullet – best invention ever!!!  Days of old this was used for my personal diet regime.  Now a quick, easy baby food blender.
  • Avocado and banana – packed with good nutrients
  • Sweet potato, squash

Because they were premature, their swallow is difficult. This is something they don’t tell you when leaving the hospital but is the most significant thing I have had to tackle, getting the girls to first take bottles and now food!

I just keep trying and in the end that is all I can do.  When time becomes such an issue, all you can do is the best for your kids.  As my mother said – they will all be on the couch in years to come blaming me – so with this in mind I am learning to not sweat the small stuff. In time their taste buds will develop and they will all grow up.  This is a tiny moment in our lives but right now the world revolves around my four little beautiful, intelligent, creative, bright eyed children!


Unconditional love

 My children have been testing me. How will I cope under pressure?! Can I survive on four hours sleep?! Can I cope with three hours of crying?!  They have no idea how they are pushing me as this is all very normal (no child is perfect all the time!) but they are! It is all about growing up.

I’ll start with the girls (bit more straight forward). We have hit a big milestone in the house. They are now 6 months old. All are rolling, chatting, giggling and learning their voice. Thankfully each is a very contented little girl and I don’t have too many tantrums or dramas to contend with. However, our night time routine recently started wearing me down until I cracked the code. Since the girls were very young we have stuck to a four hourly routine. They wake between 5 and 6.30am which means their evening bottle is at 5pm to 6.30pm. Then bed at 7 and dream feed anytime from 9.30pm. Up to a month ago this was fine. It’s only recently I noticed things started to change with solid feeds. So now they are on two feeds a day and have started dropping a bottle. Like my little boy, they now take a bottle going to bed. This has transformed night time! It is bliss!!

Here’s the schedule:

5.30-6.30am Bottle

7am Naptime (45min)

9.30-10.30am Bottle

10.30am Naptime (30-60min)

12 noon lunchtime

12.30pm Naptime

3pm-4pm Bottle

4pm Naptime

5pm dinner

6pm-7pm bath/ready for bed

7pm bottle and bed

Some of you may find this useful. There is very little out there for triplet scheduling. This will have to be changed again when breakfast is introduced. But I know that multiples versus single baby is tricky to master.

 Now the testing of a toddler…… Oh the terrible twos. This is not a myth! Although I am getting off lightly with my son (for now – not quite two yet). There are still testing times. ‘No!’ And ‘I don’t like’ are constantly used. There is a real want for independence. Even though he doesn’t mean ‘no’ he is saying it to voice this independence. It’s hard to not get frustrated with this defiance.  Recently he started to push boundaries and see what he can get away with. Weekends are usually the toughest times as the routine is a bit all over the place. Play dates, baby feeds and no crèche can be hard for a little one to cope with and not have the odd outburst. I am trying to do more and more as a family so that he feels part of the team. This makes a huge difference. Not always easy to do as it means being more patient but the benefits pay. So now, everyday we all go to pick up Red from school. We all go to the park. And if meeting family or friends for coffee etc it isn’t just Red who comes along. Red still has time with me, as do the girls separately, but we come together as much as possible.

Let it go! 

  All week the Disney song ‘let it go, let it go’ has become my new mantra. Life is absolutely mad these days. Full of noise, drama, tears and laughter.  I have officially handed myself over to the madness and let go. I am now loving my new chaos. Most days are spent running. Running from one child to the next, running to do pick ups, running the get the dinner on, do a shop, change a nappy or ten, make a bottle and so on and so on. It is important to add that I am lucky because I have help to get through the day – thank god for it. I think I’ve learnt that there is no point in trying hold onto the past but to continue allowing my new future to unfold. ‘Let it go, let it go’. I am the happiest I have ever been. Even when we have a lowsy temper tantrum or another high temperature to deal with it is still me at my happiest. How great is it to be able to say that! Don’t get me wrong it is not perfect by any stretch and there are plenty of ways it could be better/easier but I’m happy.  Speaking of which…..

A few months ago I heard a doctor interviewed on radio. She was discussing pain relief for babies and how much is too much. In this conversation it came up that she did not believe babies suffer with teething pain. I stood there staring at the radio in disbelief! As many of you will know this is rubbish. When a baby gets teething pains it is a nightmare. All sleep patterns and daily routines go out the window as you try to mother them through it. My son is nearly finished this phase and my daughters are just about to go into it.  I will happily try all remedies and some have proven to be pretty successful but really it’s (excuse the pun) a bloody pain. 

Everyone is in much better form this week and I am trying to get a good routine going. Doesn’t always work but the difference is this week is all the kids have been down by 8 o’clock each night. Oh it’s great when routine starts to click!  Really hope those teeth hold off for a little while! 

Seems I have a daredevil on my hands. Red enjoys fairground rides as much as I do. Looking forward to our first trip to Thorpe Park already!   

Nine Lives

So we are just coming off a really tough week.  A week where at times I wasn’t sure if I could cope.  There was a feeling of hopelessness which scared me.  My little ladies are now over five months old and my son is 21 months.  All four are incredible, thriving, cheeky monkeys.  However, it is winter and along with the grey skies, we have suffered with continuous sickness.  This seems to be the running theme in my life at the moment.  Every evening from about 4pm the crying or tantrums will start.  Could be all four or just one but that ringing in your ear every night is not easy to endure.  It eventually ends when all settle at about 10pm but could go on for hours after that. For over 20 weeks there has been some sort of cough, cold, chest infection to contend with. I feel like all I do is complain and I’m bored with it.  I would say I am a positive person and just get on with things – but this week it got to me.Being depressed or feeling low is not something I am usually and it scares me when it happens.  Thankfully I am able to get myself out of it. But I feel for those who can’t.  My exasperation can be fixed and my days can get better.  A day of no rain or simple routine and I can bounce back.  I think my optimism can get me through but this was one tough week!  Everyone says enjoy it when they’re little however I can’t help but wish I could fast forward some of it.

Then on Saturday it was all put into perspective when my little boy nearly drowned.  We had gone to the park to feed the ducks.  Red was in his buggy, strapped in and feeding the ducks (and himself) with bits of bread.  I turned to look out into the water for a split second and by the time I turned around all I could see were the wheels of the buggy.  He had toppled into the water.  I jumped in to get him out and because he was strapped in, he was trapped underneath.  The buggy has a fleece cover to keep him warm and this along with the whole buggy got sodden in water which meant I couldn’t lift it.  I managed to turn the buggy sideways so he could breath and all I saw was a pair of hands reach in to lift him out.  The water was about 3 feet deep so he had been completely underwater.  At the time autopilot kicked in – get him out, strip him down and wrap him up.  Get him home!  That night I just kept replaying it over and over.  What if?………. No can’t even go there!

Thats when I realised that this too shall pass.  It will get easier.  They will put the heart across me on a regular basis.  All I need is a smile, a giggle to make me realise that I am blessed and thankfully I get loads of those.


So it’s been a while since I last posted. Seems that every time I sit to write an update I get distracted. Today I feel lucky to have some time to write. Myself and Abu were on route to swimming when it was agreed between us that coffee and a bagel in a warm cafe sounded better (pouring rain). We were very late anyway so we have mitched off. I’m just waiting for her to wake up.  Oh she’s stirring……. 


Since my last update a lot has happened. We had another round of Bronchilitis in the house, vomiting bugs appeared and everyone has started teething. All of which isn’t much fun but on the plus side the girls are all so bright and alert. All of them are starting to roll. Won’t be long now before they’re all on the move. Now that WILL be interesting! They have the most wonderful smiles and light up when you chat to them. 

I have decided to take all four of them off dairy in a hope to clear up their chests. I went to my doctor last week and we agreed that it’s the best option. All of them seem to be prone to snotty episodes and it can help. Fingers are crossed! Once they’re off it for a few months, it can be reintroduced gradually.  Red doesn’t seem to have any trouble with drinking Almond milk and the girls should get used to the new formula in time. 

Red’s conversation has come on leaps and bounds. He has now discovered to art of a joke. It’s so wonderful when your son can make you genuinely laugh.  He’s also great with the girls. Here he is with Frankie, reading her a story. 

In the last couple of weeks I have also had to say goodbye to a very special person, my grandfather. Unfortunately he was sick for quite some time with cancer. He fought it every step of the way, not wanting to leave my grandmother, but the beast won. It’s tough to say goodbye to someone who was so significant in my upbringing.  I have a bank of wonderful memories of being a kid with him. I can only hope to keep up some of his traditions. He was an amazing storyteller and brought us on magical adventures up the mountains. By the time I was pregnant with my first boy he was already suffering from dementia. This meant the same conversation needed to be repeated. I would visit him with my boy and he would say ‘what a beautiful baby!’ And quickly follow with ‘who’s the father?!’ So I would explain on a regular basis what I had done. He loved babies and really was amazing with Red and the girls. In latter months he was scared of holding them, in case he dropped them, but you could rest them on his lap. A couple of days before he died I went to visit him the hospital. We had a lovely sing song of Pardon Me Boy and I told him about my four children. We will miss but hopefully I can keep some of his traditions going. 


  I know over the years there have been plenty of times when I asked my mother when did I do this or that. Of course like any normal human she doesn’t remember everything. To be honest there are lots of things my son did that I now don’t remember. So here’s a list for a keep sake –

Stella was the first to roll over at 12 weeks. 

Francesca was the first to smile at 9 weeks. 

Red started eating with a fork at 16 months

Abigail was first to display her personality in all its glory from the moment she was born. 

The girls started sleeping 5/6 hours a night by 10 weeks. 

Red started asking ‘what’s this?’ and forming four word sentences at 18 months. 

I’m leaving out loads but these are just some of the important ones. 

The girls are now 15 weeks old so many more will follow as they get older. 

Back to School

red and me

I now have a totally new perspective on holiday season and see it all in a new light. I also have a new appreciation for January – who would have thought that a month that sees such depression numbers rocket could give me such joy!  But Christmas this year was unique and certainly not comparable to my normal flurry of joy.  I normally have my house decorated to an inch of its life, have cranberry sauce bubbling on the stove, bows and wrapping paper everywhere, the biggest Christmas tree I can find and to do lists galore.  This year I had triplets.

When juggling four children military timing is key.  Once you keep everything on a tight timeline, everyone is happy.  Deviate from this and it can tumble into chaos quite easily.  I knew the holidays was going to be a challenge.  Creche was closing, my minder was going home to her family and my own family were skipping off to the sun.  I had arranged a patchwork of help that was slightly fractured but very possible.  Unfortunately, I didn’t factor in a sick baby in hospital.

Isn’t it always the case, one thing goes wrong then everything goes wrong!  Its all a bit of a blur now but those two weeks were hell.  Poor little Abigail was in hospital with a bad dose of RSV Bronchilitis.  This has been a bad year for sick babies and Ireland’s wet, damp weather has not helped.  All my girls have had RSV and unfortunately it won’t go until winter passes and they are a bit stronger.  I have been in and out of doctors for weeks now and pretty much know all the signs.  Three things to watch out for:

  1. How is their breathing?  Are they panting?  When you look at them – does it look like they are using their rib cage to breath?
  2. Are they feeding?  Can they keep a feed down?  If vomiting, they can get dehydrated pretty quickly.
  3. Do they have a temperature?  When very small this can be quite serious and usually means they are trying to fight something.


So January is here and I have never jumped out of bed with such a spring in my step.  2016 is full of promise.  The girls are just going to keep getting stronger and brighter every day (and maybe learn to sleep through the night!!!).  My little boy is full of wonder and vigor for life.  And I am reaching a very big milestone number this year- 40!! So yes it wasn’t the best Christmas in the traditional sense but wow – look where I am now.  Mum of four great kids who keep me on my toes and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Roll on 2016!

This month is all about sleep and stretching the night sleep.  The girls are doing fantastic so far and all the hard work is paying off.  It definitely pays to keep day as day! In other words, our house is not a silent place during the day, the girls get play time on their mat, change of outfit and nap in their bouncers.  I keep the cot for night sleep and have started diming lights from about 7.30pm to get the idea across that its sleep time.  We have a feeding frenzy every evening which is exausting and they can be very cranky.  However, once down, they get a dream feed at 11ish and sleep till 5.30/6am.  In the longterm this will be well worth it……


Guilty and struggling

  So many times throughout the last ten weeks people have said – you’re doing such an amazing job!, you’re superwoman or wow I don’t know how you do it!  Generally, I am grateful for the lovely compliments and proud of the fact the I have made it this far and everyone is healthy and for the most part happy.  But this week it was tested.

I have had 3 weeks of sick babies and a toddler who needs my attention.  Thats when it wears me down.  Now, I am a very capable person with a good head on my shoulders.  In my work life I have managed many pressures and extreme stresses but nothing prepares for when it all starts getting too much in the home!  I have four dependents who weren’t here two years ago and that can bring a lot of pressure.  There have been times when I wonder am I suffering from post natal depression? And then feel guilty for even thinking that when so many others have a real diagnosis. Why don’t I have the same elation I did with my first pregnancy?  And then guilty for thinking I don’t have the same bond with each girl.  Am I spending enough time with each?  And then guilty for spending too much time with one and not another.  Guilty, guilty, guilty!  Then if someone asks how one is doing over the other – can I answer this? Its sometimes quite scary and overwhelming.  I love my children with all my heart but scare that the bond I have with my little boy wont be there with the three girls.  This is purely down to the fact that I am fire fighting a lot of the day and I’m trying to spread myself so that all fires are put out.

It is not easy and even the most together and organised would struggle to keep this all a float.  I am realising that I am not perfect and sometimes I just need to ask for help – or a break!  This is where being a single mum of four gets really tricky.  Guilt is a terrible trait and I will do my best to not let it get to me.  Every once and a while you get a smile, a kiss or a hug from your kids and you realise all is not lost you’re doing a great job!

When tantrums and tears collide!

  Normally I can be very proud of the fact that our daily routine runs pretty smoothly. (Order, structure and sticking to time sheets) but that’s all well and good when no ones tired, cranky or snuffly (all of which is to be expected). So last night my son was having a bit of a melt down. Everything was wrong in the world! Moma was mean and he just wanted ‘this’, ‘this’, ‘no this!’ Followed by wails and tears. Amazing emotion was being expressed. Meanwhile two ladies decided to join in and show support of their brother. More wails and tears. Of course the normally ordered house was like a bomb had exploded so what happened next was written in the stars! My third daughter felt like she needed to join in so as I was running to comfort her I tripped, stubbed my toe and broke it. I actually just had to stop and smile. While I’m trying ice my foot, hold one of the girls, give another a soother, my little boy looks all concerned for me and says ‘medicine’. You can’t but love him. Even when he rants and screams he knows exactly how to melt my heart. 

So the evening ended with lots of hugs and kisses and today I hobble but all is calm again.