The best things come in threes

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

You may find a large smile on Joe Massanelli's face for quite some time.

The store manager of Greenville's Wal-Mart brought home his first-born son last week accompanied by his two first-born daughters.

That's right, triplets.

Two weeks ago Joe, 36, and his wife Stephanie, 32, Massanelli residents of Clanton, Ala., became the proud first-time parents.

On June 27 their firstborn Joseph Taylor weighed in at 4 pounds and 14 ounces at 3:08 p.m. Jaylyn Brooke, a name taken after Stephanie's late brother Jay and his wife Lynn weighed in at 4 pounds and 4 ounces at 3:09 p.m. And last but not least, came Haley Dionne at 3:10 p.m. weighing 5 pounds and 10 ounces.

The triplets were born at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham.

Joe said he and his wife, who have been married for seven years, have wanted to have a child for the last five years and now they have been greatly blessed with three.

&uot;I was overjoyed,&uot; Joe said. &uot; We were blessed three times over.&uot;

Joe and Stephanie said the triplets will be the first and last. They do not plan to have more children.

The Massanelli's have converted their home's living room and adjoining dining room into the triplet's nursery.

&uot;We knew we needed extra room,&uot; Stephanie said.

The room is a perfect mixture of blue, pink and yellow. The names J.T., Jaylyn and Haley are embroidered on the window panels above each of the three windows.

Stephanie also is employed by Wal-Mart as the vision manager in Clanton.

Stephanie said while working at Wal-Mart she had many people ask her about her baby and when she told them it was babies, they were always fascinated.

Joe, who is originally from North Little Rock, Ark. said he was on his lunch break driving in the car when his wife first told him she was pregnant with, not just one, but three children.

It was the day before Thanksgiving, Stephanie recalled.

&uot;I was on my cell phone and I had to pull over at that very moment,&uot; Joe said. &uot;I just had to sit there for a moment.&uot;

Stephanie and Joe said they have had great support from friends and family members.

Stephanie said everyone has been real considerate about giving her time to rest up before they make their visits.

The Massanelli's will also have a lot of help taking care of the triplets from Stephanie's mother Lucy Cleckler who lives in town and her best friend Dina Voyles who was visiting this summer.