October 16, 2017 – Urban Wildfires, Pray for Sonoma County…

Hi everybody,

Anxiety levels and stress have been high this past week. We live in close proximity to the urban wildfires that have been burning in Northern California. Everyone you talk to knows at least one family, if not several that have lost everything! The Air quality has been so bad that N95 particle masks have become an integral part of our lives. The sound of sirens, black-hawk helicopters and CDF bombers echo throughout our neighborhoods at all hours of the day and night. Sadly NIXLE updates are also a part of our daily routine – I don’t know a single person that hasn’t signed up for them. We cringe when we receive a new text message with the latest breaking information. Also, KSRO is always on in the background, providing up to the minute updates via live streaming of their radio broadcast of weather conditions, voluntary/mandatory evacuations and sadly the latest death toll. There has been so much loss and devastation in my home town, the town that I grew up in – that I can’t even wrap my mind around it…

There are many stories of Heroes – First Responders and everyday folks that have risked everything to help in this time of need. Some working shifts up to 48 hours straight fighting the fires.

I am at a loss of words – here are some images of the loss and devastation we are experiencing:

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747 Palmer Fire

Air Tanker 944, a 747-400 dropping fire retardant

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Firefighters receiving air support from the CDF helicopter in Santa Rosa

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The historic Fountaingrove Round Barn built in 1899

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The historic Fountaingrove Round Barn built in 1899 on fire – 10/9/2017

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One of the over 9,000 firefighters that are deployed here to battle the fires

Mahalo ke Akua – THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR First Responders, Volunteers and Businesses that have given and offered so much support during this tragic state of emergency.

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Thank you to the owners of Jamisons Roaring Donkey for setting up as a distribution point – receiving, organizing and distributing donations to the fire victims.

On the home front, the boys are doing well. They haven’t been able to go outside all week because the air quality has been so bad. We have had a couple of soccer matches in our living room to help release some of their pent up energy. This past Saturday we were able to take them out to the coast to let them run free and be kids, they were so happy!!!

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Makani playing in the sand

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Kaleo chasing his shadow

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Pure joy for Keoni to finally be able to run free

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Checking out the sea lions at the Tides in Bodega

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The boys at a fundraiser for Rancho Adobe Volunteer Fire Department 9/23/2017

Our family is blessed, we have not had anybody that has lost their house or their lives. One thing to note: A strong sense of community, help and support can be felt as a result of this tragedy. My heart goes out to all of the families that have been affected by this wildfire. I hope that our lives will return to some sense of normalcy soon – #LOVE #sonomacountystrong #wewillrebuild #kahalewaiboys

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On a side note – I proposed to my beautiful wife, Rachel 3 years ago today. Happy Anniversary my love…

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September 16, 2017 – A Note to My Sons III, Happy 2nd Birthday!!!

To my sons – Kaleo, Makani & Keoni,

Wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays!!!

The three of you have brought so much joy to our lives 🙂 When we are out together, total strangers always come up and say to us – ‘Wow, you have your hands full!’

Not nearly as full as our hearts!!!

2nd Birthday

-Baby Kaleo

What you lack in size you make up for in attitude and cuteness! You are such a creative thinker and always try to be the center of attention. It cracks me up when you when you come up with all your ‘new dance moves’!!! Sometimes, I feel like you get the short end of the stick because your brothers are a little needy when it comes to Mom & Dad’s attention. Never the less, you manage to keep yourself entertained and happy! You are fearless to a fault – I have never seen you shy away from a danger or a stranger! Hopefully we can get you to reel it in a little, but I definitely don’t want to hold you back – it is who you are!

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-Makani Boy

Daddy’s boy! I have stopped trying to count how many words you know now – the number is unfathomable. So smart, so articulate and such a Papa’s boy! I am grateful for the unspoken connection that we share. You teach me new things on a daily basis. I love how observant you are, especially as you notice all of the little details in the world around us. You are always quick to point them out to me! Keep smiling and flashing those baby blues!

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-Keoni ‘Big Boy’

Mama’s little Big Boy! People say all of the time that you are a Mini-Me, so I guess it’s true that the apple doesn’t fall far from this tree! You are clearly the shyest of our boys. It takes you a little longer to warm up to strangers, but I think you have the biggest heart. Also, like me – you love your Mom so much and I know it warms her heart when you give her one of your Big Boy hugs! I hope that your love of life continues to grow and blossom!

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Mahalo ke Akua! (Thank you God!)

With all my Love – Happy Second Birthday Kaleo, Makani & Keoni!

Dad

August 16th, 2017 – 23 months

Hi folks,

This update is being brought to you LIVE from the beautiful, sunny shores of South Lake Tahoe!!!

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Kaleo & Makani testing the water

23 months – coming up on 2 years!!!

It’s been a while since our last getaway with (or without) the boys. 🙂 We stayed overnight at a local casino that comped me a room for the weekend, but our Sea Ranch trip was the last real vacation that we have had as a family!

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Keoni, Kaleo & Makani

The boys are getting so big! It’s a little bit of a challenge for me to carry 2 of them up/down our stairs. I can still pick up all 3 of them at the same time, but I am a bit crazy for even trying…

It is fun to watch and listen to them play. They are so interactive right now and will say the darnedest things! lol.

We tried to limit their screen time until after they turn 2 years old, but who are we kidding? When you have 3 toddlers that are cranky – you will do practically anything to calm them down! Right now their favorites are Despicable Me & Cars! They still like Toy Story & Moana but they’re just not the same…

Overall, the boys have a very good temperament. At least around Daddy they do! 🙂 They eat and poop like NFL lineman! 😮 They love being outside, even if it’s just for a ride in the car.

They still sleep pretty good, sleeping through the night usually from 7pm until 630am. We still put them down for 2 naps per day, they could function with just 1 nap – but the grownups need a break too!!!

The boys love Fire trucks and Police cars! Honestly, what boy doesn’t?

 

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Story time…

Some pics from our adventures:

South Shore Lake Tahoe

 

Tahoe Tot Spot

 

MS Dixie II Emerald bay cruise

 

Until next time!

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Mahalo ke Akua!

 

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 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

SunriseKailua

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!