5 Minutes with a Northwest Arkansas Mom of triplets: Karissa Smallwood

Karissa's whole family

5 Minutes with a Mom logo 2017, FNBNWA 525

Name: Karissa Smallwood

Kids’ names and ages:

I have four girls and 1 boy. Lily is 8, Faith is 5 (almost 6!), and Isla, Luke, and Quinn are 4.5 months. (Yep, triplets!)

Tell us about those triplets!

When Faith was about three years old, my husband and I decided we wanted to have one more baby. I struggled getting pregnant this time around and we went through a lot of fertility treatments. We never expected to be blessed with three babies! We were so shocked when the doctor told us. I actually laughed and cried at the same time. Sometimes it still blows my mind! They were born in February. I carried them to almost 33 weeks. They spent 6 weeks in the NICU and have been home and thriving since then! We are very blessed.

Karissa Smallwood's triplets

Do you have a foolproof plan for getting out of the house with everyone dressed and all the supplies on hand?

I’m a planner and list-maker. In order to get everyone up and out the door I do a lot of prep the night before. I set of my kids clothes for the next day, pack lunches, sometimes even get breakfast stuff out that doesn’t need refrigeration just to save a few minutes in the morning.

I like to work out early in the morning before anyone else gets up so I’ll even sleep in my workout clothes the night before just so I’m ready as soon as I get up.  Having everything planned the night before really helps reduce some of the stress in the morning.

When I’m trying to go somewhere with just me and the babies, I make sure to bring a baby wrap to carry whoever is the fussiest at the time. Then the other two go in the stroller. If I’m going to the store I just know that if I need to abandon my cart and leave that it’ll be okay. I’ve had to do it before and it’s just life. Not a big deal.

What’s something funny that’s happened to you recently as a mom? 

I had one of those mornings that was so ridiculous I just had to laugh. My little sister was in town helping with the babies and was leaving on a trip for a week. The babies had just finished eating and were playing in just their diapers. Lily and Faith were at summer camp. My sister’s ride to the airport fell through very last minute so we had to get the babies dressed and in the car to rush her to the airport so she didn’t miss her flight.

On our way there I noticed that Faith left her lunch in the car. So I dropped my sis off at the airport and rushed to Faith’s summer camp to drop off her lunch. While I was on my way there I got a call from Lily’s summer camp counselor saying that Lily forgot to bring her swimming suit. So after dropping off the lunch, I went home and got Lily’s suit, then drop back out near the airport to Lily’s camp.

Keep in mind, my babies are all teething and were NOT happy about being in the car this long. It was so crazy it was kind of funny. I rewarded myself with a giant Diet Coke. Thank goodness for McDonald’s drive-thru and $1 drinks!

Karissa Smallwood, the babies
Photo credit: Jessica Fuhriman with dreamy belle photography

The scariest?

One of the scariest things that has happened to me as a mom was when my triplets were in the nicu. Quinn, my littlest one, weighed 2 lb 8oz at birth. When she was only a few weeks old she got some type of infection and needed antibiotics, a spinal tap, and two different picc lines. Seeing my tiny baby poked so many times and suffering so much was heart wrenching. Especially since there was absolutely nothing I could do for her. I couldn’t even hold her. It was by far one of the hardest things I’ve been through. I thank God that all my children are healthy today.

Any fun plans this summer?

We don’t have any huge plans this summer due to the babies being so small. Traveling with newborn triplets doesn’t sound like very fun time! Thankfully there are tons of amazing summer camps around here for my big girls. They are staying very busy with camps and trips to our neighborhood pool.

What do you enjoy most about Northwest Arkansas?

We absolutely love NWA. I think my favorite thing about this area is how family friendly it is. There are so many parks for the kids, the libraries always have story times and activities, the museums are great, the trails are beautiful, we love the Bentonville square, and there are so many delicious restaurants!

Any favorite places?

We love going downtown to the square for First Friday or the farmers market. My girls love to get a piece of taffy at the Walton 5 and 10 and then go grow a penny in the fountain on the square and make a wish.

Karissa Smallwood
Photo credit: Jessica Fuhriman with dreamy belle photography

Who does the cooking in your family?

I do most of the cooking in our family. I love to cook and bake. My husband also loves to cook but he usually doesn’t get home from work in time. He likes to cook on the weekends though and it’s a nice change!

If you could magically have a new skill, what would it be?

If I could magically have a new skill I think I would choose painting. I am the least artistic person I know. I can barely draw a stick figure. So being able to create beautiful works of art would be amazing. I have so much respect for those with that talent.

 What’s something your friends might not know about you?

My friends might not know that although I grew up in Utah where it snows a lot, I’ve never been skiing. I have no desire to ever go skiing. I hate the snow and the cold and despite living there for 22 years, I never “got used to it”.

If you got an unexpected gift of (a lot of) cash, what would you do with it?

If I was gifted a lot of cash I think I would first pay back my husband’s student loans, then I would buy houses for my whole family in the same neighborhood so we could be together all the time!

 What’s your guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure is probably reality tv. I can easily get sucked into The Real Housewives shows and Keeping up with the Kardashians. Some of those women’s lives are so over the top it’s just fascinating.

 If you could have a whole day of pampering, what would that include?

First of all, a whole day of pampering sounds amazing. I would definitely have a nap. A manicure and pedicure, a yummy lunch at a restaurant with a nice outdoor eating area, a huge Diet Coke, and maybe a fresh set of lashes!

 What do you most want people to remember about you?

I want people to remember me as a strong woman who doesn’t give up. I’d like to be remembered as friendly and loving.

One word to sum me up … Determined. Or maybe “tired” haha!

Our many thanks to First National Bank of NWA for sponsoring this feature, which celebrates all the unique moms here in Northwest Arkansas! CLICK HERE to visit the FNBNWA website or follow them here on Facebook. FNBNWA is a full-service bank and has multiple branches, including:

  • fnb small logo801 N Dixieland Road, Rogers, 479-621-6800
  • 3706 Pinnacle Hills Pkwy, Rogers, 479-464-9060
  • E. Pleasant Grove Rd., Lowell, 479-659-7100
  • 350 E. Centerton Blvd., (Hwy 102), Centerton, 479-795-4200
  • 2638 E Joyce, Suite 1 Fayetteville, 479-856-7800