Tuesday, August 9, 2016

eight miles high

Dear Dad:

It has been said that 'time heals all wounds.' I say that the person who conjured up this notion is a fucking idiot. Time has, in fact, proven to be quite the opposite and has been a sorry excuse for the inexplicable grief that has plagued my soul as a result your unfortunate departure.

Despite my best efforts in fallaciously fooling myself into accepting the fact that you are in a "better place," there are days that I am nothing but numb to the fact that you've been absent from the longest eight years of my life. The mere mental mien of your face leaves my mind in a motionless state of melancholy musings.

It wasn't until a few years after your cancer diagnosis when you verbally declared to me that you "weren't going to live to be an old man" that I realized you were coming to terms with your untimely forthcomings. It was an excruciating realization that we were both trying to wrap our heads around, but even then, it was nothing I could have ever prepared myself for. My immediate response to you was, "You are an old man," but as I look back now, you were anything but.

I think of you everyday and often wonder how different my life would be if you were still in it. Would you still have your boat? Would we still frequent Mr. Paul's? and quite possibly, my most burning question of all, what kind of grandpa would you have been? It takes my breath away just thinking about it, and it's something I will struggle with for the rest of my existence.

We are conditioned to comprehend that death is an inevitable part of life, yet its finality is truly unfathomable. Grief burns infinitely deep and it leaves a perplexing void that knows no boundaries. It's what makes or breaks us, and it's the only repercussion in life that reaps such permanence.

Today, I celebrate your life and the 26 years of memories you left me with. I may never comprehend all the fragmented "whys" that fester in my brain, but there is one thing I know for sure: I will forever be grateful for the day that you were there to see me enter your world, and I am equally as grateful for the day that I was there to see you exit mine.

I'll see you in my dreams,

jax

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

bittersweet symphony

Mr. Bean/Princess Pea/Charlie Girl:

The weeks leading up to today, your first birthday, I had delusional visions  of penning the perfect praise of the initial 365 days of your lives. It wasn't until I sat down to do so that I realized I struggle to conceptualize the appropriate thoughts, words and feelings that are free-flowing through my brain yet seem damn near impossible to transmit to print. I assure you it isn't for lack of content, but rather, for once in my life, I am at a loss for words.

As I reflect on our unequivocal union, there aren't vocable expressions deemed appropriate to describe the changes, challenges and chaos that has ensued as a result of your birth and homecoming. On the flip side, I am overwhelmed with feelings of joy and happiness upon seeing your faces light up when I enter the room. The sounds you emit when I exit are nowhere near as joyous, however, they're always taken with a grain of salt. After all, you are babies.

I'm sure this goes without saying but this last year has, undoubtedly, been the most bittersweet twelve-month period of my life. Sacrificing a career that I loved to become a stay-at-home mom was never a conceivable notion in my life plan, however, the sense of pride and accomplishment that I now endure on a daily basis is immeasurable. Having four children in two-and-half years is not for the faint-hearted, and caring for you all has been no easy feat. My once short-term daily goals of making it through each 24 hours have now turned into an award-worthy, year-long achievement. 

To make up for the fact that I wasn't able to hold you on the day you were born, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do so today. Happy First Birthday, my sweet litter. You'll forever be my bittersweet symphony. 

All my love, 

Mumma

Thursday, February 25, 2016

so fresh, so clean

As if I didn't already have enough on my plate as a stay-at-home mom to 10-month-old triplets and a toddler, I've recently decided to become a sales consultant for Norwex. Now, before all of you pyramid scheme conspiracists start going off the handle, just hear me out.

For starters, I know exactly what you all are thinking; "Great, another direct sales asshole is going to try to sell me stuff while clogging up my Facebook newsfeed." Well, I'm not gonna lie, part of that statement is true. 

With all the marketable natural living-promising products out there today, there's no doubt that we, as consumers, are transforming into a more health-conscious society. We opt for food-fearing fads (GMO-free/gluten-free/organic) in an attempt to preserve our bodies and ward off chronic illnesses, diffuse oils in our homes to holistically encourage health and wellness yet we continue to neglect one very big household and environmental issue: the chemicals in our cleaning products. 

Aside from the potent, nasal-burning fumes of your average household cleaning products, some ingredients have been linked to everything from skin and respiratory irritation to chemical burns and chronic, long-term effects, such as cancer. If you're sitting there thinking, "Oh, I use the 'natural' brands," I have news for you; they're not as safe as you think they are. While there are several popular brands out there that deem their products as such, they still contain chemicals that have negative impacts on our health. I know they smell good with their fruit-infused extracts and all, but they still contain harmful additives and preservatives. As a former natural-cleaning-product-cleaner-turned-Norwex user, I have also found them to be lacking in performance, from a cleaning standpoint. 

Now, you don't have to be a wizard to realize that my days are pretty hectic. With four under four, a dog and a husband ruling my roost, you're probably thinking, "How the hell does this broad ever find the time to clean anyway?" Well, to be brutally honest, I love to clean; however, nowadays I don't have the time nor energy to clean as I once did before I birthed a litter of babies. That's where Norwex comes in. 

So, what exactly is Norwex, you ask? It's a line of reusable, self-cleaning, microfiber-based cloths designed to save you time and money, remove up to 99% of surface bacteria all while drastically reducing the use of chemicals within your home. The only thing you need to pair with Norwex to clean, polish or dust, is water. 

If you're feeling skeptical, I don't blame you. To be honest, I was, too, before I bucked up and gave them a whirl. Not only do they clean surfaces above-and-beyond anything I have ever used, my mind is at ease knowing I am no longer subjecting myself or my family to potentially fatal chemicals. 

I didn't decide to join Norwex for the free trips and fancy cars, but rather to help educate people of the toxic chemicals we subject ourselves to all for the sake of a clean house. I am very excited and feel incredibly grateful that I have been awarded the opportunity to help others make more informed decisions when it comes to preserving the health of themselves and their families starting within the walls of their homes. 

www.norwex.com

www.jaclynhiller.norwex.biz


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

say it ain't so

Often times, frustration gets the best of me. While I am completely aware of the fact that the babies don't have the mental capacity to make sense of anything I say, it doesn't stop me from spewing the verbal discourse they are subjected to on the regular. 

Truth be told, my mouth is incapable of holding back the impromptu, swear-infested thoughts that are conjured up in my head. My filter-free mindset often makes for some spontaneous, one-sided dialogue when I find myself alone with the litter.

Here are a few of the most commonly used phrases that are expelled from my lips on a day-to-day basis: 

"I'm putting you up for adoption"
This threat is generally only muttered to the boy of the bunch, Ryan aka Mr. Bean. For starters, he's obscenely cute and he knows it. He's a total mama's boy, and he has a hard time functioning in this world without me. I lose 99% of our stare downs and his days are often centered around the fact that I am a sucker for toothless smiles, chubby cheeks and bountiful belly laughs. As annoying and back-breaking as his neediness can be at times, I will always surrender to the fact that he is the last little boy I will ever be able to swoon over. 

"Can you give me a fucking minute?"
If you don't dispense your human waste into a diaper around here, your basic everyday needs (i.e. bathing, eating, involuntary bodily functions) are often overlooked and mocked by three antagonizing grins. They are completely oblivious to the fact that I am one person and that there are three of them. If I pick one up, the other two seize, buck and cry with envy. The general rule of thumb around here is: if they can see me, they all want me. As adoring as it is to be loved and needed as such, sometimes it leaves me hankering for the ability to click my heels and Wizard of Oz the hell outta here.

"You all are gonna drive me to drink"
If you're thinking "alcohol isn't the answer," maybe you need to start drinking more. In all honesty, I don't drink nearly as much as you'd think. My bed seems to always win the "sheets vs. sauce" internal struggle as shut-eye is *generally* far more valuable to me than vodka. 

"Is this a joke?"
Most commonly used after someone: 1. saturates their outfit with barf and/or shit. We do, on average, 3-4 costume changes a day around here. 2. someone blows out their diaper right after they've been changed; or 3. when someone wakes after a half-hour nap. 

"I'm going to eat your face"
If any of my children ever end up with bruises on their faces, it could only be from one thing: me kissing them. Chunky cheeks never go unnoticed around here and they seem to always get caught in my smooch-infested crossfire. 

"Get your goddamned hands out of your mouth"
If the smell of spit-up was deemed as an attractive, desirable odor, I'd be the most sought out woman on the planet. It's bad enough I look like a disheveled, unkempt garbage man everyday without the smell of spoiled milk taking over my dysfunctional dress code. The less-than-fragrant aroma is ingrained in my nasal passages (and clothes) and I have their tiny little fingers and hypersensitive gag reflexes to thank for that. With that being said, laundry has undoubtedly become my number one extracurricular activity. 

"This is coming out of your allowance"
Nothing is more frustrating than making three eight ounce bottles of formula only for all of them to decide that they don't have the attention span to sit through a feeding. They buck, roll, or will just downright refuse to finish a bottle. Ounce-for-ounce, formula has a monetary equivalent to the value of sleep around here. 

"Why are you so cute/pretty?"
Most days, I feel like I accomplish more before 9am than the average person completes in an entire day. The remainder of my waking hours generally follow suit. Even so, I do my best to spend some one-on-one time with each of the babies. In the moments I do find myself alone with each of the trifecta, time slows down, attention is undivided and for the time being, we usually just stare at each other. Even though these moments aren't as abundant as I would like them to be, they are cherished in a regard that far exceeds a life that reflects a more simplistic means that resides far beyond our comprehension. 

As the babies' tenth month has lapsed, I am reminded that the temporary situations in life are often the ones that seem to be the most demanding and mentally draining. They cue reactionary moments of haste that can often be misconstrued for permanent positions of powerlessness. There is no recourse for their presence, but rather we have a choice to let them make or break us. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

what is and what should never be

Generally speaking, I find myself wedged between a plethora of paralyzing parental predicaments and a ruthless reality of redundant riddle. I daydream of simplicity yet I'm consistently plagued by the relentless demands of my tumultuous trinity. My life mimics an inconceivable chaos that is antagonized by my desire to return to a comprehensible version of my current self-sacrificing shenanigans. 

With the exception of the death of my father, these babies, by far, have been the most life-altering, sleep-depriving, sanity-draining, anxiety-filled mind fuck of my life. There isn't enough Xanax or vodka in the world to jolt me back into the time where I felt content and at ease with my ability to parent. They have strained relationships, precipitated panic attacks, and have gifted me the ability to survive on less sleep than I did in college. Despite becoming more and more independent as each month passes, my situation has gotten anything but easier. 

In all honesty, I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes fantasize about what life would be like had we only had one more child. In the same breath, I can't even fathom my life without the other two-thirds of our pig paradise. Between Charlotte's asylum-worthy smiling, Vivian's bashful banter and laughter and Ryan's incessant desire to be near me, I'd probably have to die myself before I could ever live without any one of them. Moreover, I anxiously await to see the dynamic of their relationship unfold. They share a beautiful, rare bond that will forever distinguish them from your average siblings. Their connection is magical and their fascination with each other knows no bounds. 

In addition to, they truly are three of the happiest, sweetest babies I have ever encountered, yet the biggest obstacle lies within just that: there are three of them. We are outnumbered and despite numerous projected attempts to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have a hard time seeing so much as a spark. Throw a regressing three-year-old into the mix and I can't help but feel like I should be juggling a goddamned ball on the end of my nose most days. 

At times, it's hard to seek out all of the good in any given circumstance when you continually find yourself fumbling backwards for every one step forward. More often than not, situations arise that are anything but easy to make sense of. They can be dissected, analyzed and questioned time and time again yet their purpose may never be forthcoming. They test our boundaries, preserve our patience and blur our perception between reality and what we once thought would never be. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

gin n juice

It's safe to say that I cherish and covet my weekly bar excursions. Despite my less-than-frequent states of reoccurring slumber, I somehow manage to buck up, make myself somewhat presentable and set out for an evening of mindless malarkey. It's a time for me to zone out, people watch and dick around on my phone with zero interruption where the only question I have to worry about answering is "are you ready for another?"

More often than not, I frequent a bar that is all of eight blocks from my house. There's nothing special about it other than the fact that I can walk there and it's the only local bar I can tolerate going to on a weekly basis. It's a pretty low-key place during the week, it has an outwardly douchebag-free clientele and most importantly, it serves Tito's vodka. It's my version of a Friday or Saturday night without having to feel like a pork chop in a piranha tank just for being a seemingly single, thirty-something, ringless woman sitting at a bar by herself. 

Even though I am accompanied by a friend on the majority of my nights out, in the event that I do find myself by my lonesome, I've come to appreciate a whole new level of alone time that I once so adamantly avoided. Before I had kids, I would have never, ever entertained the idea of going to a bar alone. The concept seemed foreign, awkward and appeared to be something only middle-aged divorcees did. One three-year-old and a litter later and I've come to the realization that I have a lot more in common with these fellow solo sippers than I thought. 

From what I have gathered, most of the early bird boozers I have encountered are having after work cocktails. When I think of it in those terms, I suppose I'm no different. After putting in a 12+ hour day at the juvenile jail, I temporarily punch out to do a little off-site drinking. Since all four of my bosses can't wipe their own assess and I don't have the option to report to work late and/or call in, time and alcohol consumption are always of the essence. Even so, I'm off the clock and for the time being, beer and Belvedere are on my mind, not babies and Butt Paste.

Whether you seek alone time at a movie theater, library, coffee shop or bar, the daily demands of life often push us to solicit temporary states of solitude. They are brief bursts of mental clarity that become the most vivid in times of overwhelming oblivion. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

mama kin

In the times I find myself on the verge of snapping, I ultimately have limited resources to vent to. While I am incredibly lucky to have an amazing support system of friends and family, I generally choose not to bombard them with my frustrations as it is hard for them to relate to my situation. In all honesty, the only people who can even wrap their heads around my day-to-day life are those who are riding the triplet wave with me. 

Halfway through my pregnancy, I was fortunate enough to be connected to a triplet mom group via Facebook. It's a group of women from all over the world who have had or who are expecting their babies in 2015. We come from all different backgrounds and walks of life but we all have one thing in common: our lives are ruled (or will be ruled) by a toothless trifecta.

Despite the fact that I have never even met any of these women, we have developed an instantaneous, unbreakable, triplet-fueled bond. We laugh and we swear and we talk about everything from pregnancy and postpartum pooping to pumping and playtime. We share our frustrations and our hardships, our excitement and our gratitude and when the unthinkable tragedy of loss strikes, we are there to lift, love and support those in need. 

We share our unfortunate encounters with the ignorant and offer encouragement to those who are approaching the tail-end of their pregnancy. We have more-than-frequent urges to tell our babies to go the fuck to sleep, little time to eat and even less time to shit, shower and shave. We never take advantage of collaborative naptime and we have zero shame in admitting that we often bathe our babies all of once a week. But even in the midst of our most maddening hours, we undoubtedly would agree that we wouldn't change a thing for the world.

While I have often been referred to as 'Super Mom' for my role as the matriarch of four under four, I can't help but cast these moms with the same title for reasons that far exceed my own set of circumstances. Some are single moms and some have husbands who have been deployed overseas. Some have zero help and some had two, three and even four children prior to having their trios. Some have struggled with years of infertility and some were forced to deliver at 24 weeks. Some have spent months upon months in the NICU while others have have been placed on mandatory hospital bed rest for an undetermined period of time. Even though the conditions of our triplet journeys differ from one family to the next, we never pass judgement as we are all very well-aware of the fact that a triplet pregnant and three fuckin' babies is a lot of fuckin' work.

Not only am I am I incredibly fortunate to be a triplet mom but I am equally as fortunate for the people that have been brought into my life as a result. At the end of the day, we're all just doing our best to keep up with the three-of-a-kind hand we've been dealt, and somehow, I've managed to strike the triplet mom jackpot along the way.