One of my biggest fears about being a stay at home mom was that I would live in isolation and become a hermit. I am happy to report that Jesse went back to work two weeks ago, and the kids and I have been on the go ever since.
Our biggest obstacle was a lack of a stroller. I intend on getting a Foundations Quad stroller, but the babies must be able to sit up before we can use it. In the meantime, I refuse to become a shut-in for the next six months. Thankfully, one of my friends who is a mother of two year old twins let me borrow two of her double strollers. Since the babies are still so small, I can put two babies in one seat and still strap them in. (This wouldn't be very safe on mountainous terrain or anything, but it works for our purposes.) Another option is I can wear one in the Ergo and push the other two babies.
When we want to go for walks around the neighborhood, I use this tandem stroller and have Jackson walk beside us. It's so easy to maneuver and reclines enough for the babies to rest comfortably. It's a bit more complicated to fold up, so I just leave it already assembled in the garage.
When we go out in public, I've been leaving the babies in their carseats and using the double snap-n-go stroller. With the third baby I either wear him/her in the Ergo or double up with a sibling in a carseat. They still love to cuddle and fall asleep almost instantly.
Last week I practiced quickly maneuvering the babies in and out of their carseats and strollers. Jackson was thrilled to get out of the house and be a "helper". Once I was comfortable, I knew I would be ready to take on most any adventure. Here's where we've gone this week:
Anyone that knows me well is aware of how often I frequent IKEA on a Monday morning for the free breakfast plate. I was feeling a bit down with it being the first day of school and all, so I wanted to do something I wouldn't be able to do had I been at work. We navigated around with surprising ease. Unfortunately, as I walked past the cashier as I so often have done, she stopped me and said, "That'll be $2.96." Apparently, they no longer offer free breakfast! Oh well...we still enjoyed our meal and took time to play.
Jesse and I had taken the kids to the park together before, but this was my first solo outing. I still used the snap-n-go and parked the babies under a cool, shady tree while Jackson exhausted himself by fearlessly climbing and going down all of the slides.
We had a picnic lunch for $4, courtesy of McDonalds coupons that came in the mail. There is a great local outdoor shopping center that has a large lake with ducks, a playground, and walking trails with bridges. I packed several pieces of bread so Jackson could feed the ducks. His face was all smiles the whole time!
We found a shady spot to sit down and eat our lunch. I was prepared to bottle feed James, Amelia, and Madeline, but they slept.
Then we walked around as Jackson took in the new scenery while asking 100+ questions. Jackson kept saying, "Look Mommy! It's raining." in reference to the fountain.
We didn't make it for the scheduled storytime, but we still found some books to enjoy reading in a quiet little corner of the library. Jackson even "read" to his siblings.
I do get stopped by strangers regularly who comment on my "twins" then gasp as they approach closer and exclaim, "Oh my God. Are they triplets?" (to which I want to reply, "Nope. I just found this other infant and tossed her in, too.") So far, I have had only positive comments from strangers.
I am impressed with how fast I've become at restocking diaper bags and loading/unloading kids in and out of the van and stroller. It's so easy to go out now while the babies sleep so much and I only have to worry about chasing after one kid. Thankfully, Jackson tends to be very well behaved in public, especially if there is a lot of open space (i.e. not a booth at a restaurant).
I feed and change the babies at 9 a.m. and leave by 10 a.m. That way everyone is still well-rested, full, and happy; also, the temperature is a bit cooler. I always pump beforehand and bring 3 bottles with me just in case we're out longer than expected or the babies get hungry. We're back by noon for lunch and time to unwind before Jackson naps.
I hope that I can continue to enjoy our outings and that nowhere is off limits for us!