Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Post.

My Saturday mornings for the past few weeks have been spent with the girls, as Sarah as either been working or sleeping-in (from working late during the week).

Many of these Saturdays I'll take the girls for a short ride to run an errand and the girls can have a change of scenery. These trips are usually to the bank drive-thru or local coffee shop drive-thru. Last Saturday, the girls and I were all set to go when I realized the battery to the van was dead! In our haste the prior evening, we had left one of the doors ajar overnight, which was enough to drain the battery. I called AAA and, of course, I had let our membership run out. Rather than spend the $40 or whatever the membership fee is to renew that day, I figured I could jump start it myself when Sarah got home. No ride with Daddy today girls - sorry!

Sarah's brother Pat came by on Sunday and got the van going for us. Not the first time Pat has helped us out of a jam - he knows his car stuff (especially Volvos)!

Anyway, I wanted Sarah to sleep in today. So, before Sarah woke up, I got the girls ready to run some errands. And yes, the van did start this morning. (The garage door was a different story, though.) We went to the bank, drove by our old house, and then went to the town recycle area to drop off some batteries. The attendant at the recycle center was making small talk while I waited to pull in to a spot. He was nice enough. I don't think he saw all three of the girls so he just said something like " got your little bambinos in there, eh?". I responded with a simple "ya" and then he said something like "..they grow up so fast...". No triplet comment, no "you must have your hands full"! Ahhh...what it must be like to be a singleton parent!

Anyway, I got a picture of the girls before we headed out the door. The GAP sweatshirts were a gift from Sarah's aunt Ellen and uncle Joe. Amazingly enough, when I said to the girls "...Daddy wants to get a picture....", after a little help, they sat next to each other for this photo:

Sitting still didn't last long at all, of course, as you can see from this picture. Allie - exit, stage left. Em - exit, stage right. Anna, meanwhile, sat quietly holding her "peas". Too funny.
This was later, after I came back - Sarah gave them all magazines to "read". I think it is funny when they sit and flip through the magazines, one page at a time!

It's cold here today - stay warm.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A man among women.

I spend most of every day surrounded by females. At the office, I manage a staff of four - all women. My boss is a woman. At home: my wife Sarah, my girls Allie, Em & Anna. During the week we have mother-in-law Sheila stay with us. That's a 5 to 1 ratio at home and at work!

Sarah will tell you that when she asked me if I wanted to start a blog, I responded with soemthing like "'s a chick thing, isn't it?" Blogging, in general, may not be a chick thing, but I bet, if I were to get the demographics of the readers of my blog posts, it would be at least a 4 to 1 women to men ratio. I do realize the ratio is somewhat skewed because many readers have arrived on my blog via either TC or Sarah's blog, which are female dominated. However, the fact of the matter is, even when I am on the internet, I am "surrounded" by women!

Being a male among females isn't necessarily a bad thing - some men cannot get a woman to say hello to them! Ha ha ha... So, for the record: I'm not complaining, I'm just taking note of the facts. Remember, I grew up in a family of ten boys and three girls so its not like I haven't gotten into, nor seen my share of stuff that boys and men get into. Just ask my mother!

So, given that I am constantly in the company of women, I try to remain vigilant of how my time is spent. An occasional episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight, The Bacheleor, or What Not To Wear is OK. Conversations with Sarah about so and so's pregnancy or so and so's children is also OK. Maybe even flipping through a People magazine could also be viewed as harmless. I also do the stereotypical "guy" stuff like flip through the depressing, boring Wall Street Journal, clear the snow in the driveway, take out the trash, lift weights...alright maybe I haven't been working out too much lately but I do exercise!

Anyway...I have been poking around the internet a bit and have found blogs written by fathers of triplets, which may help get the female to male ratio more toward a balanced ratio.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Technical difficulties.

Ever since we recorded the girls "figure skating" in the living room, Sarah has been on me to figure out how we can upload video clips to her blog. I haven't had chunks of time the past coupl e of months to figure it out, so I have been intermittently educating myself on the technicalities of transferring video to my pc and how to use the dvd software on my computer.

But, it looks like Sarah's work schedule is back to some sense of normalcy, so I should be able to make some progress now. BTW - it's not like I am an idiot when it comes to things electronic. I did some research before we bought the video camera, the girls were born and...well, I said, the girls were born. Newborn triplets = zero to little time for "fun" things like learning all the cool features our camcorder and computer have to offer.

Today I consulted my brother Chris, who is the most knowledgeable of the brothers nine when it comes to computer stuff. He agreed with me that the issue is probably the file format/extension of the dvds I have attempted to upload and edit. The software on my computer will not read the file extension so I need to convert the files to a format which the dvd software will read.

Long story short is that we think it will be really cool to share the girls' voices, movements, gestures, etc. with you. So I will continue to diligently work toward getting some video clips!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What are you talking about Willis?

Sarah emailed me today, suggesting we think about getting a front-to-back, foldable, triple stroller. She found one on the internet marked down to $100, which is a good deal. It would definitely be nice to have this type of stroller for situations when either one of us is home alone and wants to take the girls to the store, etc.

If we do purchase this stroller, we will have a total of five strollers! There is, however, a reason for the number of strollers we have...

We have a single Britax from when Sarah was pregnant with Abigail. When our girls were born, we did research on triple strollers. We decided, however, to pass on purchasing a triple at that time. A good, practical triple stroller cost in excess of $500. In addition, the ones worth purchasing are only good for neighborhood walks as they will not fit in most vehicles. So...we decided to buy a Graco double, which was a good choice. For the first year, having the single and double worked great - they both fit easily in the van with room for groceries, etc.

As the girls approached their first birthday, we started to look at getting a jogging stroller, since we both enjoy running so much. We decided on a single Baby Jogger, thinking one adult could push the double, while the other ran with the single jogger. I found a Baby Jogger single on CL for $125 - not bad. When I met the seller to complete the transcation we had the girls with us, so the seller guy made a few standard triplet comments. One of the comments he made as he was leaving was " are going to wish you bought a double jogger..." Ya, right. We now had three strollers.

About a month or two later, we starting to think that it would be nice to be able to take the girls for a walk with just one adult. We did more stroller research and discovered that many parents of multiples use jogging strollers for walking because of the ease with which the jogging strollers roll. Again, to purchase a new triple jogging stroller would set us back close to $700. To Craiglist I returned in search of a used triple jogging stroller - I found a Baby Jogger triple for $150!! And the woman selling it lived in the same town as us, thank you! Buying the triple Baby Jogger was probably one of the best purchases we made. Sheila (Grammy) wore a path in the sidewalk this past summer pushing the girls all around town. We may have caused a few accidents from drivers turning their heads too! We now had four strollers.

So, here we are thinking about buying another stroller. If anyone had told me two years ago that we would be considering purchasing a fifth stroller, I would have probably responded with a "Whach you talkin' 'bout Willis?"!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Allie finally broke her pattern of short naps with a 2+ hour nap yesterday. Can you tell from the picture she had just woken up from a nice nap?:

Anna and Em only had their usual one-hour nap, of course!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Disney Marathon 2006.

Sarah and I had decided sometime in 2005 I would run the Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando in January 2006 and Sarah would possibly run the half-marathon, which is held the day before the marathon. (Yes, some runners do both, but not us!) Approximately 3-4 months before the marathon, we learned that Sarah was pregnant with our first child, our angel Abigail. With Sarah's pregnancy, it was an easy decision for Sarah - she would not be able to train for, nor run the half, but we would make the trip and I would run the 26.2, as planned.

As things would go, my mother was planning to arrive in Florida that week for her annual three month stay in St. Petersburg. She told me she would like to come to see me run the marathon. In addition, two of my sisters, a nephew and a niece were going to make a little vacation of it also. Pretty cool - trip to sunny Florida to breakup the winter months.

The marathon started at @6:00 am on Saturday if my memory serves me correct. The reason for the early start was two-fold: (1) so runners would not be running in the afternoon sun and (2) not to disrupt the theme parks; i.e. Disney doesn't want to close the parks and lose out on revenues! The suggested arrival time for runners was @4:30am! I do remember setting my alarm for 3:30 am. I also remember thinking it would be a killer to get up so early and run a marathon. BUT, assuming nothing went terribly wrong, I would be done running 26.2 miles before 10:30 am!

Overnight before the race, the Orlando area had record low temperatures. I had brought a long-sleeve shirt too wear before the race and shed after I start running, but I realized the night before that I was going to need a little something more. So, I purchased an over-sized hooded sweatshirt at a local drugstore for short money.

What I remember about the morning of the race was waking up and having that sick stomach feeling one gets from insufficient sleep coupled with nerves. I would have had to have fallen asleep at 7:30 the night before to get 8 hours of z's. I awoke wth the alarm and got ready to leave. Sarah gave me a kiss and wished me luck. She, of course, went back to sleep and made the drive to WDW with my family a few hours later. Off to the race I went, under the still dark skies of Orlando.

Being an experienced runner, I know it is better to get to a race early, rather than late so I arrived a bit early and rested in the heated rental car. Anything to avoid standing outdoors in running shorts with the temperature somewhere in the 30's. I took my time getting to the start line and ended up taking a spot toward the back of the 10,000+ runners. Starting at the back of the back didn't bother me . After starting too quick in my previous marathons, I was determined to do a better job at pacing myself the first half of this 26.2 miles. Besides, I had several thousand runners packed together in front of me, so I had no choice but to go slow!

After some celebrity sang the national anthem, the race was under way and, after a couple of miles, the cold dark sky started to brighten thorough the morning fog.
It was definitely a slow start as the runners weaved to the start in a funnel-like fashion. The sun had yet to rise, it was still cold, but the energy level was high. Everyone was pumped. The Disney marathon is a popular "first-timers" marathon so there are a number of excited runners who have not before felt the pains of miles 19-26.

It should be said that my original goal, before I started training for the WDW Marathon, was to attempt to qualify for Boston in 2006 by running Disney. However, at some point in my training I resigned to the fact that qualifying for Boston this time around was not realistic.

The race winded through all four theme parks - Disney, Epcot, MGM(?) and Wild Kingdom and I started to understand the two things I had read about the WDW Marathon. The first thing I realized was that it is a good race to qualify for Boston because it is almost completely flat. And the second thing that became clear to me as we ran through the parks was that there were definitely a huge amount of runners not concerned about their finishing time. I could not believe the number of runners who carried cameras with them so that they could stop along the route and pose with a Disney character! "Look, there's Goofy, hey Goofy - wait, let me wrap me sweaty self around you so this other runner guy can take our picture!" Maybe I am a running purist, after all. I go to a race, I run with all my heart, concentrating on every breath and footstep, ever vigilant of the task at hand. I finish the race, THEN I let my guard down. There is plenty of time to give Cinderella a kiss AFTER the race!

Seriously though, it is a VERY fun marathon and I did enjoy the scenery. If you are thinking of the running the marathon you should know, however, that the entire race is not run in the theme parks. A numbers if miles are run outside the parks - on the roads outside the parks.

Around mile 13 I spotted my niece Jen, then my nephew Bobby, my wife Sarah, my mother, and my sisters Joan and Patrice. That was very nice. Runners, especially those who have run a long distance race, know how a familiar face in the crowd or a "way to go" can make the legs feel just a little bit lighter. Having them cheer me at mile 13 was nice.

I ended up doing a good job of pacing myself. And, at about mile 18-19, I realized I had some reserve left in the tank, so I increased my pace ever so slightly. At about mile 21-22 I increased it a little more and still felt good. Given the way I had finished Boston and the Marine Corps marathons in the past, I was almost sprinting at the finish. Apparently Sarah and my family saw me near the finish line, but all I heard was a crowd.

My net time was under 4:15 and I finished in the top 25% overall, 35% in gender and 38% in age division. Like I said previously, this marathon is considered good for first-time marathoners.
Sarah and I have plans to take the girls to Disney at least once, when they are older. Whether we go during marathon weekend and run, remains to be seen. This trip to Disney was my third - my sister Joan took me and my younger brothers Don and Chris when I was about 12. I went again when I was in my twenties. The memories I have of each trip is special.

Of course I cannot help but think of Abigail when I think of the race. One of the things I remember most vividly about the entire weekend was after the race when I met up with Sarah, and my family. We were taking pictures and hanging out and I remember thinking that I was so happy. Sarah being there with me, the thought of being a dad in a few months, etc. I started rubbing Sarah's tummy - displaying my excitement about us being parents-to-be. Not thinking for a moment that our first daughter would not take of breath of air outside of Sarah's womb.

Sometime after Abigail's headstone was erected in the summer of 2006, Sarah and I noticed someone had placed a toy Mickey Mouse "runner" at Abbey's grave site. Joan and Jen had bought Mickey while we were at Disney - they were going to give the stuffed toy to our baby when he/she was born. I told Sarah I wanted to take Mickey home so he wouldn't get weathered by the elements. I wanted to keep something as a memory - show our girls when they are older - tell them the story of the marathon weekend when Mommy was pregnant with their older sister.

The WDW Marathon 2006.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Box of memories.

I write this post surrounded by Christmas decorations to be stored away until next season. As I go through the process of organizing and putting the ornaments, lights, and stockings away, I relive Christmas' past:

-The ornaments given to me by friends from a tree-decorating party I held in my bachelor days before Sarah. I remember who gave me each ornament and the "story" each friend told me about buying the ornament - what the ornament means, etc.

-The many ornaments I have received from my parents over the years and where I was in my life at the time.

-The advent wreath I asked my mom to get for us a couple of years ago, still in the box (shhhh - don't tell my mom).

-How about the Mr. & Mrs. Claus decorations I made as a boy in Cub Scouts! We used to have our den meetings at our den leader's house down the street. This was MANY years ago - I can't believe I still have the decorations, which are made of cardboard/paper plates and felt!

-The 2005 Parents To Be ornament we received as a gift the Christmas before our angel Abigail was due. That ornament has yet to come out of it's box.

Many memories in these boxes, all heartfelt memories. Some of the memories bring a heavy heart, some a smile. It sometimes astonishes me how innate objects can stir so much emotion.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Random thoughts on:

The Inauguration - How could any US citizen NOT be moved by what occurred today in Washington? I was able to watch some of it live at work - my employer put out a lunch spread and had the inauguration ceremony on the video screens. In my opinion, regardless of what occurs during President Obama's presidency, America has changed for the better just by electing Barack Obama our 44th president.

- not a good day, overall. Both Sarah and I had to work, even though it was a holiday for both of our companies. We awoke to about 4 inches of fresh snow which had fallen overnight. This was in addition to the 6+ inches we got on Sunday. We also had someone come to the house to look at our cabinet issue - he arrived @ 7:15, while I was snow blowing the driveway. And the girls were awoken early, so they were not happy. I spent a full, unproductive day at the office. OK, I'm done complaining about yesterday.

My daughters - Are they not the cutest girls, ever? :)

Sarah's job - I hope we are at a point soon where she doesn't have to drag herself in to Boston to work for the man.

My daughters - Did I say how adorable I think they are?

Running and exercise - I was just getting back on track when I got sick a week and a half ago. I'm feeling better and work will not be as demanding, so I will get back at it.

Sleep - I haven't been getting good sleep lately, thus I am tired and cranky. So I am going to bed now.

Good night.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

While They Were Sleeping.

While the girls were napping, I took my inexpensive point-and-shoot digital camera to grab a couple of pictures from our yard of the snowfall we got today. As you can see, the pictures did not come out good. Oh well. I'll be sure to use the Nikon next time.
This is the girls' jungle gym, which they loved last year. We hope it gets plenty of use again this year. The beauty of plastic is that it can withstand the elements!

The snowfall has been substantial so far this year and I would guess we got about 5 inches with this snowfall.

My plan is to use the snow blower to clear the snow AFTER the girls awake from thier nap, unlike the rest of the men in the neighborhood who started their snow blowers about 10 minutes after the girls fell asleep. The girls have slept through the noise of the snow blowers so far today, thank goodness. I don't know why but it seems as though, all summer, when a neighbor powered up his lawnmower it was when the girls were napping. Now, so far this winter, the same has held true for the snow blowing. Not much we can do about that, unfortunately.

Enjoy the snow.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


One of the many statements that have been made to us, as parents of triplets, is: "...they will have each other to play with..." Although our girls are not quite at the playing stage, they do provide entertainment for each other and at times do play with each other without one of the girls getting unintentionally hurt. Here are the girls "playing" with each other this morning:
I think Anna started this play romp and wound up in the middle of a sister-sandwich!

Before Sarah left for work (hopefully the last weekend for awhile), Allie cuddled-up for a story with mommy:
The girls were saying "Momma", so I just phoned in to Sarah at her office, via speaker phone. It's funny - they are not quite sure what to think of the phone and get a bit shy!

Stay warm, everyone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Am I A Softie?

I could go on and on and on about ALL the things about my girls that I cherish. I've been thinking about one little thing that, for some reason, almost brings to tears to my eyes. It's one of those small, intimate moments a parent and child can share.

Our girls finally have enough hair to comb and brush. We currently have them on a every-other-day bath schedule since they are indoors 95% of the time. About 20-30 minutes before bedtime on bath nights, we haul them upstairs for their pre-crib bath. Out of the bathtub they come, one by one, back to their bedroom to have their pj's put on. Then their hair has to be combed - it used to be brushed, but Sarah told me we need to comb now because their hair is long enough in the back to get tangled, if not combed.

The moment: There is something about that 2 minutes when I am combing Allie, Anna, or Emily's hair, that is almost surreal. Time stops. Nothing else matters. There is just me and my little girl. Maybe Allie blinks hers eyes lightly as each stroke of the comb goes through her hair. Or Anna's eyes radiate as they meet mine. Maybe Emily giggles, as only Emily can. Simple gestures, yet lasting memories.

Am I a softie or just a sensitive guy? Am I more sensitive to the simple joys and pleasures a child brings because we didn't have but a moment with our first daughter?Has that made me more appreciative of these tender moments?

Call me a softie, that's OK. Being called a softie is a price I am willing to pay for tender moments with my daughters.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Multi-tasking 101.

I think this is such a funny picture of Allie. She had been doing circles in the living room with the cell phone to her ear and pushing the stroller. Anna is up to no good in the background...

Congrats to Jim Rice (aka Jimmy "Ice").

Jim Rice, who played his entire career with the Red Sox, was named into the Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday.

I was just a young boy when Rice started his career in Boston. At that age,my brothers and I would spend many summer days playing some form of baseball. Whether it be a simple game of catch, or a 3 on 3 baseball "game" in the parking lot of the local J Homestock (furniture) store, we would often pose at the plate as Jim Ed Rice, Yaz or Fred Lynn. My brother Pete comes to the forefront of my mind when I think of those days. Forever passionate and nostalgic about Boston sports, Pete was always ready to toss a baseball, shoot hoops or a play a game we called three flys out. With a basketball in hand, Pete could be Pistol Pete Maverich or maybe I was Bobby Orr when I held a hockey stick.

Pete took me to one of my first games at Fenway Park, back when Rick Burleson played shortstop, Denny Doyle second base, and Rice and Lynn were in the outfield. Going to Fenway was a big deal as a kid - it wasn't a given right, like it seems to be for so many kids today.

Pete and I often recount the memory of attending a night game at Fenway back in the 70's. We were sitting in good seats near the left field wall. Rice was playing left field for the Sox, as he often did before moving to the DH role later in his career. Keep in mind this was the "old" Fenway - no Monster seats, no digital scoreboard, no NESN, ESPN, etc. You could get a hot dog, pretzel, ice cream and a soda. There was no Pizza Hut or Haggen Dazs available at Fenway. You had to wait in long lines to use the bathroom. It would also not be unusual for the fan next to you to be smoking a cigar and have two or three beers under his seat.

Anyway, at some point that night at Fenway, a nearby fan yells "ice cream" to the kid selling ice cream sandwiches. As was customary back then, the vendor tosses the requested ice cream sandwich to the fan. The pass from vendor to fan was incomplete. I cannot recall if the fan fumbled, or if the ice cream vendor threw a bad pass. But somehow, the ice cream ends up on the field! In Manny Ramirez fashion, Jim Ed Rice trots over toward the left field foul line, picks up the ice cream and tosses it into the waiting hands of the fan!

After a small cheer for Rice subsides, a fan yells "Jimmy Ice"! Since that game, whenever my brother Pete and I get into a conversation involving Jim Rice or the Sox games of past, we end up recalling the "Jimmy Ice" story.

So, congratulations to Jim Edward Rice(Ice) on your long-awaited, somewhat debatable election to the Baseball Hall of Fame. And thanks to my brother Pete for all the great sports-related memories.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Editor in Chief.

I started this blog with no real expectations, nor forethought to the content. I kind of "went with the flow" in terms of the set-up, my profile, and subject matter. Certain items were posted on this blog in hopes that it may help someone and/or educate others. Now that I have had the blog up for about a month, I have a better feel for the whole blogging thing.

So...this past week I was thinking about how readers of my posts could form biased opinions about me from reading this blog. Specifically, I have been thinking about my references to friends of Bill W. So I went to my best friend (Sarah) and asked for an objective point of view. Long story, short: based upon my discussion with Sarah, and many other factors, I decided to remove a couple of things from the blog. (These changes, by the way, would have probably gone unnoticed by most, had I not pointed them out.)

I have to admit it bothers me somewhat to have to make these changes to my blog. However, over the years, I have found that keeping parts of my life private is sometimes, but not always, best.

To Thine Own Self Be True.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day with Daddy Part II.

The girls and I ended up having a fairly uneventful, yet good day today. Sarah is usually the one posting the pics of the girls, so I took a few today to capture the moments.
Anna, Em & Allie enchanted with a Baby Einstein video:

Emily playing with Allie's hair, while everyone keeps one eye on the TV screen:
If you are a parent, you know something is up when your kids are quiet. I walk into the dining room to find all three girls had decided they were not going to eat their kidney beans. They, instead, decided to dispose of them onto the floor:
I gave them the Annie's mac-n-cheese, since they obviously are not eating the beans. As you can tell from this picture of Anna, they enjoyed it!
A view of the tornado-struck living room at halftime:
The best part of the day, however, was when Mommy walked through the door!

Day with Daddy (so far).

Sarah had to go to work today, so I have the girls all to my lonesome today, Saturday. Not that big of a deal - I've had them all day several times before. Today is a little different in that I came down with a fairly strong cold on Thursday while at work. Because we are busy closing the books for 2008, I dragged my butt into the office on Friday. My boss says " shouldn't have come in..." I agree. I ended up getting a mid-day train home and napped/rested yesterday afternoon, knowing there would not be an opportunity to rest today. So I am not feeling great today.

So far today it's been fun with the girls even though we are all a bit cranky. Me, due to my cold and the girls' crankiness from being up late (see Sarah's post from Friday).

Snow forecasted for overnight and tomorrow morning. Sarah may have to work tomorrow also - could be interesting!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Happy Birthday.

Just a quick post to wish my brother Frank a happy birthday. Frank turned 50 today!

Our family started a tradition a number of years ago where we get together as a family and celebrate ten-year birthdays (30 year, 40 year, etc.), starting at 30 years old. We try to make the celebration a surprise and we'll either have dinner at a restaurant or get together at someone's house. We will be celebrating Frank's this weekend at a small restaurant. I'm sure Frank will have chicken parmigiana with extra sauce and three or four diet cokes!

Happy Birthday, Frank.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A hello from a friend.

You never know what a hello or "hey" to someone can mean.

Sarah and I were walking from the train to our car tonight - talking about work , I believe. As we start to go down a set of stairs, I get a tap on my shoulder. I turn around to see a friend of Bill W. - his name is Paul. I had met Paul at a meeting sometime before our girls were born and we spoke to each other a little bit -fatherhood and other things. I don't know Paul really well, but he seems to me to be a sincere, upbeat, energetic guy. Tonight, Paul just gave me the head nod and a smile, which I returned with an added "...hey - how's it going!?"

Paul is just one of many from the fellowship that I bump into in the "real world" - grocery store, train station, gas station, etc. It's always nice to see a friend of Bill W. outside of a meeting, even if it is just a head nod or a quick hello.

For those unfamiliar with the fellowship, there is a connection amongst members unlike any other. It's nice. Good to see you, Paul.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Indoor vs. outdoor running.

In the past, I considered myself sort of a running purist. Purist, in that my first choice in running outdoors, rather than on a treadmill. Running outside in New England year-round obviously requires the right running gear. I have various singlets, shorts, sunglasses and hats to keep me cool and protect me from the sun. I also have cold running gear needed for running in the winter months of the Northeast - hats, gloves, warm running pants, and even a head lamp to wear for morning or evening runs!

While I continue to thrive on running outdoors in 55+ degree weather, my outdoor winter running has dissipated over the years. I would say close to 95% of my winter running is now indoors, on a treadmill. For example, while training for the 2006 Disney Marathon, I did a 20+ mile run on the treadmill! The convenience and time saved by running in my home, or during my lunch hour at work, now supersedes my desire to be a running purist.

You see, this time of year, Runners World magazine is filled with suggestions for winter running. The articles on running during winter usually contain a photo of a runner "frolicking" through a winter wonderland with powder-like snow sparkling on the ground and in the trees. I used to have that rose-colored view of running outdoors in the winter. That perspective has changed.

The reality: cold wind, slippery sidewalks and streets, and grayish colored snow from car exhausts!

Believe me, if I lived in the Vermont countryside or in a Colorado winter setting, I would probably enjoy many runs in the winter. For now, though, running on our treadmill in my unfinished basement with the simple comforts of TV or loud music serves me just fine.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Number one comment (still).

I'm not sure if the comments on our girls have lessened, or if Sarah and I now do more to avoid comments. Either way, it seems to me that I don't hear as many comments on our girls as I used to hear. Case in point is a trip we made a trip to the local Target the other day. During this particular trip, I only remember hearing one comment.
For those with multiples, I'll give you one guess what the comment was. " must have your hands full...". So, you must have your hands full remains the number one comment we hear about our daughters!

Moving on...I haven't posted pics of the girls recently, so here are a few of the cuties, taken in the last week or so.
Anna proudly wearing a Santa hat:
Allie, looking somewhat bored:

Emily, looking a bit mischievous

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Recycled Vinyl.

Do you recycle? We do our best to recycle anything we can. Over the summer, our town changed their curbside recycling program, making it simpler and easier for households to recycle. The process previously was the standard - paper in one container, metal and plastics in the other container(s). Our containers would always be packed.

The new system is pretty cool - EVERYTHING goes in one big recycling bin which is picked up (literally) by the Waste Management truck (Sheila still cannot get over this - who separates the stuff!?). A separate truck comes by and does the same for the "trash only" container. Not bad.

I kept the old recycling bins, knowing I could find a use for them eventually. The other day I tested something out, and it seems to work. As in states in my profile, I was a disc jockey back "in the day" when music was played on a record player (no, I did not scratch!). I have kept my record collection from those days and have 5 milk crates filled with 12" vinyl records, mostly 12" singles. I'll have to do a separate post on my DJ days - back when Madonna, LL Cool J,Jackson Five, New Edition, U2, and yes, New Kids on The Block, were the craze.

Those crates are heavy and have been moved many, many times (probably close to at least two dozen times) - just ask my brother Chris! You see, the old milk crates could be stacked, but not for an extended period of time without doing some damage. The records do fit in the old town recycling bins, though! AND the crates can be stacked without doing any damage!

Some use recycling bins for their intended purpose, some others steal pop stars recycling bins for fun, I am using them to store my vinyl. What are your recycling bins used for?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Moments with my girls.

No pictures to share in this post, but I do want to share a couple of moments I had with my girls.

The first moment was Friday evening arriving home from work. The girls' high chairs are located in the dining room, which is visible from the driveway side of our home. As I am pulling up to the house, I see two of the girls, the closest to the window is Emily. I can see Emily pointing in my direction as she spots me (or the car anyway)as I pull in to the driveway. I stop halfway up the driveway to watch and wave, although I don't think they can see my face in the dark. Anna, who is sitting in the highchair next to Emily, is also craning her neck to see who is there. I cannot hear them, but I imagine them saying "thdat" or "oooo". I smile, pull in the garage and come in the house. I go see my daughters, who are all smiling at me. I give them each a kiss. That makes my day.

Second moment: tonight. While Sarah starts dinner (yummy - thank you, hon), I put a video of the girls on TV to entertain them (and entertain Sarah & me). The video is from the beginning of December until today. Some great stuff - Christmas day, the girls "playing" with their younger cousin Grace, the girls playing paddy-cake along with The Wiggles, etc. Allie, Anna and Em loved watching themselves on TV! The moment is when all three girls wanted "up" with Daddy on the couch. Three loving, cute, beautiful girls on my lap. Not a care in the world. Made my day.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The GMAT exam and career (dirt) path.

I took the GMAT exam this past Monday. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the GMAT exam "was designed by business schools to measure the skills shown to help graduate business student exceed..." According to Sarah and me, the GMAT exam is just another money-making scheme!

My career path has certainly not been straight or forward-moving, thus the blog title - "my career dirt path". I have worked with, and worked for countless accountants who have made up to 25-40% more than me just because they had three letters (CPA, MBA, etc.). I can sometimes get quite bitter about where I am compared to them. I've always felt I don't need three letters to prove myself. The problem is that employers want those three letters!

The following is a summary of my career, peppered with some life events:

I attended a local state university while working about 25-30 hours per week for a well known package delivery company. Due to my excessive drinking, it took 5 and 1/2 years to complete the 4 year program. I barely graduated in 1989. My GPA was embarrassing. I got sober in the last semester of school and, shortly thereafter I pursued a career in accounting.

My first accounting job was for a real estate company. That job lasted less than a year before I was laid off because of the ailing real estate market. I collected unemployment and worked temp jobs before accepting a position for a small software company in Boston. This position ended up being short-term also. My job there was very narrow and I had also zero opportunities to advance so I left for a better opportunity.

The next five years (1992 - 1996) were spent at a wholesale distributor of fabric paint as an accountant. Great people, good company and I learned a great deal. My wife at the time (we married in March 1992) and I filed for a divorce in 1995. Then, the company I worked for, filed for bankruptcy in 1996. I was looking for work again. I then started at a conservative, established, small, but successful investment management company in Boston.

I had considered career changes in the past. During the early 90's, before the divorce, I took an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course, passed the exam, and almost went to work as an EMT. I cannot recall exactly why that didn't pan out.

It wasn't until late 90s that I again seriously considered a new career path. After spending Tuesday evenings, and my entire Saturdays, for two years attending a great massage school in Cambridge, I became eligible to practice massage therapy in the summer of 2000. The plan was to do double duty: work part-time as a massage therapist MT) and part-time as an accountant. Classic right-brain, left brain balance! So, in 2001, I left the security of being employed at a financially solid, secure, workplace to practice massage and consult as an accountant.

Being single and healthy, I enjoyed this time in my life - I made my own schedule, made money and had a fun social life. But, after a couple of physical issues forced me to miss work (thus not get paid), the conservative side of me won out and I decided I needed employment with steady income, health and retirement benefits. I was back on the market for full-time employment.

Meanwhile, Sarah had taken a position in the tax department of the investment management company for which I had previously worked.

See where this is going? I ended up consulting full time for that same company! Sarah and Rich get "set-up", they fall in love, get engaged, buy a house, and get married in October 2004. Most of our spare time in 2004, 2005 and some of 2006 is spent doing major work on our house. Not much time for anything else. I did, however, start a new full time job as an Accounting Manager in September 2004. After about two months, I HATED my boss so I resigned with the intention of spending my time between a job search and fixing up the house.

My sixth employer was in a fast-paced, deadline-driven environment for another financial services company in Boston. I am hired as an Accounting Manager and the compensation is good, considering I do not have a CPA designation or an MBA. Sarah and I could never, ever predict what was going to occur in our lives over the next two years.

We are expecting our first child. We decide to make the baby's sex a surprise. But, if it is a girl, her name will be Abigail. On Sunday, June 4th, 2006 I have to leave a message with my boss telling him our daughter passed away. It was the worst day of my life.

After about 1 1/2 years of employment at that company, it is announced that a HUGE financial services company, also based in Boston, is acquiring us. I will be laid off, but not for another 8 months. A few months previous to the acquisition announcement, Sarah and I heard four words we will never forget from an ultrasound technician (sorry tech, I do not remember your name): "...I see three babies...".

Our girls are born, I continue to do my lame-duck time at the office while I await my termination and severance.

In July 2008 I accept an offer from my current employer, who offers some tuition reimbursement.

This past Monday I took the GMAT. Unless we hit the lottery, I will start graduate school in the Fall so that I can make a salary that I believe I deserve.

Post Script - this blog ended up being much longer than planned!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Bye Bye Bottles.

Sarah did a post the other day with a similar title, except "bottles" was replaced with "binky". I think we may have put the girls' bottles away for good. That is correct - 20+ months after Sarah delivered the girls, the Dr. Brown bottles may have seen their final use in our house!

This is a big deal for me. For those who don't have the low-down on baby bottles, you should know that Dr. Brown bottles are made to reduce the amount of air bubbles, therefore reducing the frequency of gas for the baby. Great, right? I don't have experience with other bottles, so I actually cannot comment on how effective Dr Brown bottles are versus other bottles. What I do know is that Dr. Brown bottles are comprised of 5 parts (6 if you count the cap)! The 5 parts are the bottle, nipple, nipple holder, and a two-piece tubular shaped part. We have three babies, so you can probably guess where I am going with this...

Each five part bottle has to be disassembled, washed and then re-assembled with every use. Let's do the math here. Three babies to be fed, on average, 4 times a day = twelve bottles, on average a day. 12 bottles x 5 parts = 60 parts to be disassembled, washed and then re-assembled again. Note that these estimates are conservative and reflect feedings when the girls were between 6-12 months old. In the first few months, we were feeding the girls on demand. In hindsight, that period of time was pure anarchy.
Can't you just picture me, a sleep-deprived new father of triplets given the task of putting together one of these bottles? Here's some additional things to help paint the picture: charts to track how much and at what time each baby drank, bottles lined up on the counter and cases of baby formula stacked in the dining room:
not to mention crying babies, dirty diapers and three sleep-deprived adults trying to manage all this.

Do you have a small glimpse of what it may have been like? Sheila (Grammy), Sarah and I have spent many hours over the past 20+ months with Dr. Brown's bottles. I cannot speak for Sheila nor Sarah, but I am very happy to announce that we may never have to feed one of our daughters with a bottle again! Good-bye Dr. Brown (or, as I use to say, Dr. John)!

Gotta go - surprise, surprise Anna is crying instead of napping...btw it is COLD outside!