The sickness of December, the magic of the holiday and my life’s most profound new goal

By the time Christmas Eve rolled around this year, my family and I had already endured a long, hard December. Usually it’s the rampant commercialism of the season combined with the stress that accompanies the dwindling number of light-depleted days that remain in the year that rob me of the joy the holiday is supposed to bring. But this year, it was endless congestion, course coughs and constant fevers that left me feeling blue.

The succession of illnesses that’s run rampant through my family began in October. And since that time there’s not been so much as a single day when at least one of the seven of us hasn’t been legitimately sick. But December’s first few weeks have been the worst stretch yet.

Read more over at Babble by clicking HERE.

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Some Thoughts From our Car Seats

Dear John and Caroline:

Get over yourselves.

OH, I know. Having triplets has been kinda tough. Good Lord do I ever know. It’s pretty much all y’all ever talk about.  And I get it — to an extent at least. I mean, a lot of people think buckling and unbuckling one infant multiple times throughout the day is a pain. So buckling and unbuckling three is obviously three times the hassle.

But while you strain your back to securely click in Little Darlings 1, 2 and 3, I’m not exactly whistling Dixie over here. I mean, HELLO? I’m the one who’s actually keeping your kids safe, for crying out loud. Oh, sure, you keep your trio safe, too, but in that safekeeping process at least you don’t get ABUSED like I do.

To read more, head over to Babble by CLICKING HERE

The Triplets Are Repeating Each Other. You Copy?

We’ve reached a reasonably annoying stage here at the Osborne house. The repeating stage. You copy?

You better not. Copy, that is. Because if you do, I’ll send your ass to time out just like I did the triplets.

So lemme backup a bit and provide a little context. The triplets just turned five and I don’t know if it’s their ever expanding vocabulary or what, but it seems they’ve taken to copying each other. One of them will say something, then one of the other two will say the exact same thing, intonations and all.

So, first, they’re pretty damn good at it, the whole intonation bit being a particularly nice touch. But second, such mimicking is invariably met by the following:

Read more at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE

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15 Things I’ve Learned from the Triplets

The triplets turned five this past weekend and, like any parent who watches his or her children grow up, I’m so proud of the little people they continue to become. And that’s just it — they continue to become their own little people. More and more each day, in fact.

Ever notice how I don’t really write much about Alli? I mean, sure, I’ll go 30,000 feet on her and maybe pen something like 15 Things Every Stepparent Should Know, but I don’t tell a lot of specific stories about her and the reason’s simple:

Alli’s a big girl and her stories aren’t mine to tell. There hers.

And the triplets are pretty much right there, too. That’s why I’ll continue to tell fewer and fewer stories about them the older they get. But this one’s kinda like the one about being a stepparent. It’s more about the things I’ve learned from them than it is about the triplets, themselves.

Anyway, I’m rambling, so I’ll just shut up now and drop you the link. If you ‘d like to read, head over to Disney by clicking HERE.

Photo: family friend Beth Lankler

The Secret to My Toothbrushing Coercion

And there were three primary ways I accomplished that: (a) under-promising but over-delivering, (b) illustrating the benefits to be gained from the use of my products and services and (c) finding win-win situations.

Oddly, it’s those same three principals I find myself using over and over as I try to sell my kids on things that are ultimately for their own good. And last night was a perfect example.

To read more of this sponsored post, please click HERE.

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I’m a Soccer Dad

Whereas up to now, I’ve been a soccer step dad. Not a huge difference, mainly semantics. Still, the fact remains, the triplets entered the world of competitive sports over the weekend (their team name is Mr. Ball) and I reflected a bit upon it this past Friday over at Babble.

To check it out, click HERE.

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How the DVR Ruined My Vacation in Specific and Parenting in General

Ah, the DVR. Goodtimes, right? It’s like a babysitter, only with clearer skin and no Justin Bieber fixation.

Well, it’s not really a babysitter, ’cause, you know, it’s not like Caroline and I park the kids in front of the TV, dial up a little Wow Wow Wubbzy, then scamper off to a romantic dinner or anything. But that still doesn’t mean the DVR hasn’t ever watched our kids. Because it has.

continue reading at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE.

The Boys of Summer

When I first learned that Caroline was pregnant with triplets, I remember distinctly hoping that one of them was a girl. Not that I was rooting against boys. I wasn’t. It’s just that I always loved the whole “Daddy’s little girl,” concept, not to mention the fact that I didn’t get the honor of being Alli’s stepdad till she was six, which meant that I had missed out those pivotal years when a dad first becomes smitten with his little girl.

And I wanted to know what it felt like when a mini-Caroline took my breath away. What it felt like to see such pureness, such beauty. And Kirby has delivered all that and more. But as much as I’ve cherished the experience, I can’t say it was unexpected. It wasn’t.

continue reading at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE

Aurora, Penn State and the Fine Line Between Tragedy and Commerce

Two of the most horrific tragedies in recent memory have dominated the news cycle of late. I’m speaking, of course, about the Aurora shooting and the scandal at Penn State. And as a parent, one of my greatest struggles is determining how best to broach such topics with my children. While I’ve given the matter plenty of thought, I’m afraid my official policy is still a bit fuzzy.

In my defense, four of my five are way too young to discuss such topics. The triplets are only four and our baby just turned one. But our ten-year-old is coming of age right before my very eyes, and whenever such stories break, it’s her I worry about most.

Continue reading over at BabbleVoices by clicking HERE.

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Defending Something That Needs No Defense

So I wrote this piece for DisneyBaby a while ago and I was really proud of it. It was about how hindsight had taught me that Luke’s arrival was exactly what the triplets needed because it forced the world — Caroline and me, included — to stop seeing them as babies.

But it was something I had to travel full circle to comprehend, as one of the things that tripped me up most about our surprise pregnancy was that I’d always assumed that the triplets would be our youngest, our most innocent, the fairest of our crew. The three little cherries atop the sundae that was our remarkable story.

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