July 16th, 2017 – 22 months

Hi everybody,

Hope you all are doing well.

Happy 22 month birthday to Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!!!

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Keoni, Makani & Kaleo going for a ride…

Here are some updates:

  • Naps and Sleep: The boys are still napping 2 times a day and sleep from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am on most days. They still sleep in their cribs for now, hopefully they don’t get any ideas on escaping anytime soon!
  • Food: The boys have a voracious appetite. Keoni still has a thing for greens – green beans, asparagus, spinach, cucumbers and broccoli (Go Big Boy!!!) Makani is warming up to them – he is our ‘Old Faithful’ when it comes to eating. He doesn’t mess around – his brothers will play with their food, sing and cry – while he goes at it with a workman like pace! At this point Kaleo doesn’t really care for vegetables, I’m not sure if corn is considered a vegetable, but that is the only thing he will eat. I have a feeling that he will be on the receiving end of some good lickens’ from his brothers for eating too slow and holding them up. He is ALWAYS the last to finish!!!
  • Milestones: The boys are talking up a storm and have a pretty extensive vocabulary for their age! Rachel and I feel like they are all well ahead of the norm. The typical 2 year old toddler knows between 50 – 75 words. There is a pretty wide gap for this age ranging from 50 to 225 words. I made a list of words that Makani can say and it is already at 250 words and counting.  Plus he is also starting to form sentences. I wouldn’t be surprised if he started reading sooner rather than later. This is a pretty amazing age for their young minds. They pick things up so quickly! As far as weight gain – all 3 are 30+ pounds and show no sign of slowing down!!! 😮
  • Testing the waters: We are getting to that age where the boys are starting to test us on a daily basis and depending on if they get their way or not – things can get pretty emotional for them. Fortunately Rachel has a lot of patience and can usually redirect them long enough to calm them down. I, however – am a work in progress!!! 🙂
  • Rachel update: Rachel is still recovering from her AWR surgery. She got the go ahead from the doctors to start lifting the boys 10 weeks after surgery. It’s been a long road – but she is feeling better. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, thoughts and well wishes! It has meant a lot to both of us.

Here’s a fun slideshow that I put together (with music):

Until next time – Mahalo ke Akua (God Bless!)

June 16, 2017 – 21 Months…

Hey everyone,

Just a quick update this month. Rachel is still recovering from AWR surgery. It is a long recovery and according to her doctors she is making good progress. She had her 8 week follow up appointment on Monday with the surgeon and he recommended light duty for another 2 weeks, e.g. no lifting anything heavier than 10 lbs (i.e. – Kaleo, Makani & Keoni) 😦

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Happy 21 month birthday boys!!!

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Walking home from the pool – Makani, myself, Kaleo, Rachel & Keoni…

Last weekend the boys had a little cold – runny nose, fever & really cranky! Hopefully they are fully recovered in time for the NICU Reunion Party on June 24th at Kaiser Walnut Creek. We have only been back to the hospital once since the boys were transferred to Santa Rosa. It was when our friends Plamen & Cveti welcomed their triplet babies into the world. That visit brought back many fond memories and experiences from when we were there in September of 2015.

Held every other year, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit reunion at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek brings together NICU patients and their families to reunite with many of the nurses and physicians who cared for them during their stay.

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1 for each baby…

About 3,500 babies are born each year at Kaiser Permanente’s Walnut Creek Medical Center. Roughly 440 of those spend time in the NICU. The Level III NICU has a team of neonatologists, pediatricians, respiratory therapists, and specially trained nurses who provide care for infants with all types of issues, including premature births, infections, and respiratory distress.

We are looking forward to not only seeing the staff, but we are really excited to catch up with a group of families that we have met through our ‘tight knit’ multiples community who also delivered at Kaiser Walnut Creek.

And finally – a huge Shout Out to the 2017 NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors!!!

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What an amazing season!!! DN4L…

Mahalo ke Akua…

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Makani boy, representing the Dubs & Raiders!!!

May 16, 2017 – 20 Months & Happy Mother’s Day…

Hello Everyone!

Happy 20 month birthday to Kaleo, Makani & Keoni. 🙂

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!

The past couple of weeks we have noticed that the boys are getting more and more attached to certain objects – e.g. pacifiers, lovies (monkey blanket), toys, etc… We had an incident last week where their lovies were in the wash, (unbeknownst to me). Kaleo & Makani were PISSED!!! They screamed and cried for almost an hour (Keoni is our best sleeper & he didn’t care either way). They all have been pretty good about naptime or bedtime, but on this night they were just not having it. Rachel replaced their monkeys with another plush blanket animal but that didn’t work. Finally I had to go upstairs and bring both of them down until their lovies made it out of the dryer. They were elated to be reunited with their monkeys and happily nodded off into dreamland…

We have learned that you should always have a backup of their coveted lovie or whatever they are attached to and rotate it out just for situations like I described. It sounds good in theory, but we all know how Real Life works! lol 🙂

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Lovies (Monk, monk!)

Rachel is still in recovery mode. Things are going well, but she can not lift the babies yet and she is having a difficult time sleeping as a result of the pain medication that she has been taking. Hopefully her recovery will continue to progress with time!

It has been difficult to get the boys out of the house on a regular basis. I have been working on toddler proofing our small backyard with some success. We have a slide, sandbox, water table and a couple of garden boxes filled with dirt that they can play in. Getting outside into the backyard usually makes them pretty happy, but I know they miss our family outings on the weekends. 😦

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Kaleo, Makani & Keoni

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms!!!

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Until next time, Mahalo ke Akua…

May 5, 2017 – Cinco de Mayo (19 ½ months)

 

Greetings everybody,

I am sorry for the late post, but so much has happened since the last time I checked in.

Rachel had Abdominal Wall Reconstructive Surgery at Kaiser on April 17th, the day after Easter.

Rachel suffered from a severe case of Diastasis Recti as a result of being pregnant with our triplet boys for 33 weeks 6 days:

Diastasis Recti is a condition where the abdominal muscles are separated and no longer located next to each other. The most common cause of diastasis is pregnancy, and no amount of exercise can reverse the condition. When diastasis is caused by pregnancy there is a significant change in shape of the abdominal wall, even in extremely thin patients. This leaves the abdomen looking swollen. The condition is quite common, and studies have shown that it occurs in 35-62% of women.

The only way to resolve diastasis is through a surgical re-approximation of the muscles.  A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty surgery is the ideal procedure because it not only corrects the separated muscles, but also removes the excess skin that is associated with a diastasis. During tummy tuck surgery, the doctor reconnects the left and right side of the abdominal muscles, recreating abdominal tightness.

The weakening of the abdominal muscles and the reduced force transmission from the stretched linea alba may also make it difficult to lift objects, and cause lower back pain. Additional complications can manifest in weakened pelvic alignment and altered posture

This is considered a Major surgery, it took approximately 3 ½ hours to complete. Rachel was in the hospital for 6 days and now she can not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk during her recovery (estimated 6 to 8 weeks). So 3 – 25 lb. boys are completely out of the question! 🙂

I took 8 days off of work to take care of the boys while Rachel was in the hospital. We had a pretty good time even though we all missed mommy! We were able to take a day trip to the Oakland Zoo and then stopped for lunch at In-N-Out on the way home.

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Train ride at the Oakland Zoo (Kaleo, Makani & Keoni)

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Kaleo, Makani & Keoni waiting to eat at In-N-Out

The only bummer is our Big Boy – Keoni got sick the day after Rachel had surgery, then the other 2 guys and myself caught his cold on Saturday. Taking care of 3 – 19 month old boys by yourself is NO JOKE!!! Add a cough/fever to that mix and OMG that was a long week!!!

Hats off to Grandma Anne & our great group of family/friends for dropping off meals and staying with the boys while I visited Rachel in the hospital. We continue to receive a generous outpouring of help from our family and friends – Thank You All!!!

All in all the surgery went well. Rachel is at home recovering and the doctors are really happy with the results!

A couple of side notes – we have had a mini-heat wave (temps up to 90 degrees) the past week and I scored this cool little construction truck sandbox/mini pool for the boys off of Nextdoor.com

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I also received 2 tickets to the GS Warriors vs. Utah Jazz playoff game in Oakland last night – from the owners of the Roaring Donkey (my weekend job) Thanks Brian & Greg!!! It was an unexpected, nice, well deserved break for Daddy!!!

Mahalo ke Akua!

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Kaleo, Makani & Keoni rooting for the Dubs!!!

 

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My nephew Joe & I at the Dubs vs. Jazz playoff game…

 

 

 

March 16, 2017 – 18 months (1 ½ years old!!!)

Greetings everybody!!!

Where did the last year and a half of our lives go? What happened to our tiny little babies? My Goodness, how time flies!!!

I am in a little shock/disbelief that our precious little babies are embarking on their next stage in development: TODDLER-HOOD!!! It seems so inappropriate to continue to call them babies. They range in weight from a little over 26 lbs. (Kaleo & Makani) to almost 29 lbs. (Keoni).

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Our weekly Costco trip! Makani, Kaleo & Keoni

I wish I could slow down the time machine and just go back! But alas – I must accept and push on!!! I have experienced so many heart warming moments & good times! The lack of sleep the first 3 months helped me to forget most of the little struggles we had! 🙂 I could not have asked for a more versatile, sweet and kindhearted gaggle of young men. I am truly blessed and continue to strive to enjoy each and every moment of life as it evolves around me.

I remember when I started this blog, my hope was that it would help to capture my thoughts and process my feelings as a First Time Father of Triplets. I wanted it to enable me to reach out and help a growing community of parents just like me. So many crazy ideas and scenarios ran through my head and not all of them were good. The process of writing this blog has helped me to quiet the Category 5 Hurricane that was swirling between my ears. I knew deep down inside that I just had to Accept and Trust the Process.

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I have always believed that ‘things happen for a reason’ and that ‘there was no such thing as a coincidence’. But what was the reason for this??? What lesson was there to learn? I believe that I was finally at a point in MY life where I was ready. God had chosen us! We were given his blessing to take care of, protect and raise these three precious souls.

For those of you that have followed my journey – God willing, I will be celebrating 6 years of sobriety in May. I have finally learned to accept life one day at a time. I don’t believe I could have trudged this path – successfully, without the help of a power greater than myself, that’s it!!! That is all, that is everything. Is there a better example of how powerless I am over – People, Places and Things than to have Spontaneous, Naturally Conceived Triplets at the tender young age of 49??? God has blessed me with this opportunity. Reconnecting with him has made all of this possible. If I were left to my own devices, most likely I would have FAILED. He has given me the hope and happiness that I had longed for my entire life. Now a sense of calm has replaced the storm. I LOVE my LIFE!!! For the first time I am truly happy! Finally I can share this happiness (His happiness) with those around me. My sons, my wife, my family, my friends, everyone!!!

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For the First Time Dads that are out there reading this – Trust The Process & Control what you can control’ Let the rest go.

It all begins with your Actions and your Attitude!!!

Actions: Well, that should be an easy one – but it’s not really:

Tell the Truth! Smile and be nice to people. Rub your wife’s back & feet (she will definitely appreciate this!) Give her a compliment. Let that hurried person in traffic go in front of you. It’s all the simple things that we can do for others on a daily basis that add up to make a difference!

Attitude: Here’s a little trick that worked wonders for us:

Early on, when the physicians spoke to us about selective reduction. Their job was to present us with the facts – Multiple Pregnancies ARE considered High Risk!!!

I suggested to Rachel that whatever the doctor tells us – let’s focus on the big number! For example: If our physician told us that ‘there is a 3% chance that Baby A could be at risk for Autism’ – we would flip it around and Hear ‘there is a 97% chance that Baby A will not be at risk for Autism!’…

We continued to do this throughout the pregnancy and it worked out pretty well for us. Looking back things were pretty uneventful and everything progressed better than we expected!!!

IMPORTANT: I am not down playing the risks inherent with multiple pregnancies! I want to acknowledge that things can go wrong. Please address any concerns you may have with your physician! But for the sake of your sanity – Cross that bridge when/if you get there!!!

One thing that I worried about was the inevitable fact that the babies would be born premature and because of that, there was a strong likelihood of an extended stay in the NICU. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the acronym “NICU” it is short for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The thought of this went against all of my preconceived ideals of what having a baby was all about. From my point of view – the mother carries the baby for 9 months, starts to have contractions, then she goes into labor, we head to the hospital in a crazy rush & the medical team delivers the baby. The doctors and nurses clean the baby up and the guys head outside to smoke a cigar and high five each other. After all that, everybody gets to go home!!!

Hahaha – Not so fast, that was about the furthest from reality as you can get when you are expecting Triplets. 🙂 Our boys were born at 33 weeks, 6 days. They spent 21 days in the NICU (it probably would have been closer to 14 days if we didn’t have them transferred to a hospital that was closer to our home). But, in the long run it was ALL GOOD! I ended up convincing myself that they really were at the best possible place should there be any complications. Besides the obvious medical advantages that the NICU offered, the nurses helped us to establish a feeding/sleeping routine that we continued to utilize well after we brought them home. They also taught us how to feed, hold, swaddle and bathe them. Rachel was able to be close to the boys, but she did not need to worry about caring for them 24/7 while she recovered from the C-Section. None of our boys have had any medical complications due to being born premature. All in all, a short stay in the NICU turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

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Front to back: Makani, Kaleo & Keoni

Well, that’s it for this installment…

I want to give a special shout out to my brothers from the Early Birds!!!

♥♥♥ Happy 18 month birthday to Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!!! ♥♥♥

Rachel & I pray that all of you and yours are doing well! 🙂

Thanks to God for this day – Mahalo e ke akua no keia la

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February 16, 2017 – 17 months…

Happy Valentines Day & Greetings from the Meatball Factory!!! 😛

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Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Have you ever been asked a question by a total stranger that made you want to shake your head in disbelief??? Imagine for a second if it happened to you multiple times on a daily basis – Welcome to our world. 😀 There is nothing that could have prepared us for the numerous questions and stares that we get from total strangers when we are out in public with the boys. From Finger Pointing and counting 1, 2, 3 – 3 – 3, you have 3!!! Some people even try to snap a quick picture of us! (Seriously – WTF? If people would just ask I would at least consider it – but please do not try to take a picture of my family without asking me first!!!) I understand that triplets are rare and that it is human nature to be curious, but Geez Louise!!!

Here are just a few of the random questions that we have been asked while out and about with the boys:

This was a recent question from an older gentleman at a coffee shop –

  • Q. “Wow, how did you guys get them so close together?”
  • A. Well, they are triplets…  Stranger: “OH, that explains everything!” 😦
  • Q. “Are they TWINS?”
  • A. Well, no there are three of them – they are Triplets…
  • Q. “Are they all yours?”
  • A. No, we borrowed them from our neighbor and decided to take them to the zoo for the day. 🙂 Yes, they are ours…
  • Q. “Are they Natural?”
  • A. Ummm, I am not sure what you mean – they were made in Mexico if that is what you are asking? lol 😀

Some of the questions can get really personal:

  • Q. “Did you guys do fertility drugs or do IVF?”
  • A. Are you asking me if I had SEX with my wife or if they started out in a laboratory? NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS…

I know most people are in awe/disbelief and that they really don’t know what to say to us. Unfortunately most of them feel the need to blurt something out – even if it lacks common sense. Rachel is a lot more patient than I am and she doesn’t mind chatting with people/entertaining their questions. I on the other hand, go straight into “Protector Mode”, I pull my hat down real low, strap on my sunglasses and do my best Clint Eastwood impersonation – “Are you feeling Lucky Punk? ARE YOU???” (lol, not really!)

I am a pretty big guy though – 6′ 3″, 300 lbs. so people usually don’t bother us when I am around. I really wish I had more patience with all the attention we receive – but there are only 24 hours in a day and shit needs to get done before the babies get cranky!!! 🙂

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Are you feeling lucky punk? Are you? – Kaleo & Makani!!!

Some of the crazy things we hear on a Daily basis:

  • “You must have your hands full!” Nope, only 3 babies – we have 4 hands!
  • “Bet you didn’t see that one coming!” Actually I did, I am psychic!
  • “I’m so sorry!” Why – Did you fart?
  • “Do you sleep?” Yes – quite well as a matter of fact!
  • “I just couldn’t imagine” – No – probably not…
  • “Better you than me!” Yes – definitely!!!
  • “I would kill myself!” – Ok – please do…
  • “Three at once has to be a lot easier than just 1, at least they can keep each other entertained!” – Durrrr – okay!
  • 2 more than you planned! – Obviously, but I wouldn’t trade them for all of the gold in Fort Knox!
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Keoni, Kaleo & Makani shopping at Costco!!!

On the home front, the boys are all doing really well. They are getting more agile and smarter on a daily basis. They are all able to climb on to the couch and each of them has a voracious appetite!!! They literally eat like teenagers…

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Out for coffee with – Kaleo, Makani, Keoni & Rachel…

Happy 17 month birthday Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!!!

We hope you & your families are all doing well.

Mahalo ke Akua – God Bless!

January 16, 2017 – 16 months!!!

Happy 16 month birthday Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!!!

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This month marks another major milestone for the boys – they are ALL walking!!! It is fun/scary to see them motoring around the house & our neighborhood.

  • Makani was the first to walk and has the best balance of all 3 boys. He can literally run around in circles.
  • Keoni was the second to walk. He is more sure of himself and has pretty good balance. But he can still crawl a lot faster than he walks.
  • Kaleo was the last to walk. 😦 Now he is so proud of himself when he can make it across the living room without falling. 😀 When Kaleo started to take his first steps, he would lean his butt up against the wall and start to gyrate/move his hips in a circular motion (he looked like a mini-Elvis!) I really wish I would have gotten a video of it!!! It was hilarious! 🙂

Their vocabulary is expanding exponentially, they are so quick to pick up on new words! Man, I really need to watch what I say now…

Southern Baptist Minister and Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 88 yesterday – a belated Happy Birthday to Dr. King! Dr. King’s birthday was declared a Federal holiday in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, but it was not officially approved by all 50 states until 2000 (32 years after his death in 1968). Here is one of my favorite quotes from Dr. King, a little inspirational food for thought – “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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To take full advantage of the long weekend, we decided that it would be fun (Haha – more like a lot of work!) to take the entire family up to Sea Ranch. Sea Ranch is a small beach side community with a population of about 1,300 people, located on the Northern Pacific Coast of California. It is about a 3 hour drive North of San Francisco.

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We have really been looking forward to getting away! Since before Christmas we have had record low temperatures. Just in the last week, we have had historic rainfall totals and regional flooding. I think the boys (if not, both Rachel & myself) are becoming a little stir crazy being stuck in this house!!!

The calm after the storms…

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We invited Grandma, Grandpa, both of Rachel’s brothers (+family), & her older sons to join us for the weekend. We rented the the house below from Sea Ranch Rentals in Gualala. Hopefully this will be the start of an annual tradition for our family. 🙂

Makani & Keoni dancing to some old school Beastie Boys…


Some pictures from this weekend:

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