Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: The Mystery of the Plates

Like all kids, Amelia loves to hide under the blankets and get found. She also loves to make play forts out of blankets and get Mom and Dad to join her in hiding.

But about the time Amelia was 20 months old she developed this mysterious obsession of getting the paper plates out of the pantry every time she hid under the blankets. Seriously, she couldn't hide without them.

One morning she came to our room and crawled into bed with us, and as soon as we pulled up the covers she was out of bed yelling "Pates!" Even though the house was pitch dark, she rocketed down the hall and into the kitchen. She opened the pantry and came running back with a stack of paper plates.

We never did unravel the mystery of why paper plates were a critical element in the game of hide for Amelia. But we sure chuckled a lot about it.

Play along with Wordful Wednesday over at:

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

While Mom's Away...

I left the boys alone in their playroom, safe behind the baby gate, for a couple of minutes while I used the bathroom. This is what happened while I was gone:

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Enough Advil in the World

I must confess that I hate working out. I like how I feel about myself afterwards, but the actual act of working out? Thanks, I'll pass.

And after tonight's workout? Pass the Advil. Our sub clearly was determined to make sure our regular instructor never asked her to sub again.

Of course these days, working out is almost worth the effort just because it's an hour I get all to myself.

For the last three months I've been doing Pilates at the local Y every Monday. I used to do Pilates all the time, even up until a week before Amelia was born. I had to quit doing Pilates while pregnant with the boys when I hit about 15 weeks, but only because my instructor was too freaked out to teach me.

Anyway, it's a great workout and I like that I'm regaining strength in my abs. I need those muscles to be strong so I don't hurt my lower back with all the lifting I do around here.

My problem isn't the class. It's the day after. I always try to hold back a bit during class so I can handle the next day's workout! The triplet workout consists of light weights, lots of reps. In and out of highchairs. In and out of cribs. On and off the changing table. Whew! Throw in a little cardio chasing boys around the yard and I'm good to go.

Even though I get a good daily workout, it's still important for me to go to class and really focus on being healthy and strong.

As for liking it? Well, if only I could find an exercise class where the instructor would ignore the fact that I'm napping in the back, I'd be all set.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Breakfast Fun

How do boys have fun at breakfast time? Why, by seeing what will stick to their heads, of course!

Sam demonstrates the proper technique.

Alex scores a Cheerio!

Isaac: "See, Mom? Fun!"

Fun indeed. I haven't laughed this much at breakfast in years!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Early Bird Gets The Bargains

Wow, 5:30 a.m. is early! I sometimes am awake at that hour because Sam likes the early morning hours, but these days I usually don't get out of my bed until 6:30.

But this cold, dark morning I was on the road at 5:30 a.m., headed to pick up my friend Sarah before the big multiples consignment sale. The bargains we got made it worth the early wakeup. And now I'm beat!

I got plenty of clothes for spring and summer for the boys. I even managed to get a couple matching sets. We don't often dress the boys all alike, but it is nice for public outings, so we only have to remember one outfit! I also got some summer things for Amelia and some new toys.

My big purchase was a Step 2 picnic table. The boys and Amelia already checked it out, and it's going to be great for picnics, messy projects and more. Of course, it's one more thing I have to try to keep the boys from climbing, but it's close to the ground so how badly can they get hurt, right?

I was a seller at this sale for the first time today. It's great because you tag your items and drop them off, so you don't have to run your own booth or handle any cash yourself. About two-thirds of what I took sold. It will be a few weeks before I get my check from the group that runs the sale, but I think I will make more than I spent. That would be a bonus on top of the bargains.

Sorry for such a short post with no photos and no chuckles. Up early, you know. {yawn!} Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled programming here, but for tonight you'll have to forgive me. I'm off to fold a little laundry and then I'm going to bed early!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just Call Me "Clearance"

It's Friday and I'll be heading out at 5:30 a.m. tomorrow to go to a huge multiples group sale, where I hope to find some great bargains on clothes for the kids. Otherwise there will be a lot of running around naked going on here this summer.

Oh, who am I kidding? Since Alex has learned how to take off his diaper and happily helps his brothers with theirs, there's already lots of running around naked going on here. It's just not least not MY intention.

I'm not thrilled about getting up so early, but I do love a bargain. And when you're dressing four kids who are shooting up at an astronomical rate, bargains are a necessity.

Last year I got a baby swing for our swingset (You can watch Sam enjoying it immensely), two push toys (Remember the video of the boys running down the driveway with those?) and a summer's worth of clothes for the boys for about $80. I'm hoping to make out as well again this year. I'm also selling some of the clothes we've outgrown, so hopefully I can make more than I spend.

That would make my hubby a very happy guy.

Good night all!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Caption This!

OK, folks. Here's the picture.

Give me the best caption you've got. (It's Sam, in case you didn't already know that.)

Fame, fortune, and a lifetime supply of detangler (just kidding, we need that for ourselves!) for the best entry.

Have fun!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Time Flies

It's late and I'm tired.

I've been sorting through mountains of clothes and getting things ready to sell at a local multiples sale. I'm glad to be getting things cleaned out, but there are some things I'm just not ready to part with yet.

I think I'm worse about Amelia's clothes than the boys'! Possibly because I got more sleep with just one and can actually remember her wearing certain things.

I find that it's the littlest things that are the hardest to give up. Even though my boys outgrew preemie clothes when they were one month old, I just can't bear to part with any of the tiniest things just yet. It's so hard to believe that they are almost 18 months old already.

How in the world did we go from this:

To this:

 so fast?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Call Me Bookworm

I have always loved to read. I remember going to the library as a grade schooler to pick out books. I read every Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew book on the shelves. The Little House on the Prairie books, and hundreds more. I went through library cards (in the old days, when they stamped your card with the date your books were due and when you filled it up you got a new one) like my kids go through a gallon of milk.

Some days when the weather was nice and my mom would throw us all out of the house for our health and hers, I would take my book and climb up into the apple tree to read. At least I was exercising my mind!

As you can imagine, I don't have as much time to read as I used to, but I still love it. I have come to understand just how right my mother was when she said Readers' Digest is perfect for moms. The articles are short enough to finish in a day or maybe two if things are really bad.

Last fall a neighbor told me I had to read The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Since my reading time is limited, I'm always glad to get a recommendation for something good. I don't have much time to wander the stacks at the library or to work my way through a disappointing read. So, I put my name on the list at the library.

Trouble was, when I got the book I only had a few days to read it since there was a waiting list. And I barely got started before it was due. So a friend bought the book and gave it to me to read first. It's been sitting here waiting on me. I read a few pages here and there, but I finally sat down Sunday to really read it.

Now I'm in trouble because I can't stop. It's good. Really good. Really, really good.

Today I read while I folded clothes. While I washed dishes. While the kids ate lunch. I read while I unloaded the dishes, and if I could figure out how to make this coherent while I read, I'd be reading right now.

The best thing for me to do is stay up and finish this thing so my house doesn't sink any further into the morass. Which is a little ironic given that the story revolves around black maids in Jackson, Mississippi during the height of the civil right movement, and just reading about all their work makes me tired.

If you haven't read it, get a copy of The Help. It is a great book. The story is compelling and so are the characters. I don't know how it ends, but I can't wait to find out!

How about you? What's the best thing you've read lately?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Did Dr. Suess Know My Boys?

Today was a rainy day. We've quickly gotten used to being able to go outside, so the cold rain and being trapped inside led to a major case of the crabbys for the boys.

So, I babyproofed the kitchen and turned them loose.

After a half hour of grabbing them from the top of the table, pulling them off chairs, stopping the highchair bumper cars and generally racing to keep up with all three of them I decided: Dr. Seuss must have had or known multiples. Thing One and Thing Two have got nothing on my boys!

They finally got intrigued with climbing into the one comfortable chair that's still somewhere near our family room. (All other furniture having been removed to prevent the shenanigans of today from happening on a regular basis.) I stood right there to make sure no one fell--or got pushed. I said "Sit down or get down," approximately 187 times in 10 minutes. 

And then they all sat together. Just for a minute, but it was long enough for me to catch them with my camera.

Alex, Isaac and Sam

Then they took off in three different directions again and shortly thereafter I collapsed from exhaustion.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Snow White and the Seven What?

Last night Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was on TV. Amelia had never seen the movie, so after the boys were in bed we sat down together to watch it.

Snow White was the first movie I ever saw in the theater, obviously not a first-run, since it was originally released in 1937. My sister Judy and my cousin Laurie took Cathy and me. We were probably seven or eight at the time.

I remember being terrified during the scene where the dwarfs chase the wicked Queen disguised as an old hag up the cliff and she falls to her death.

But I had forgotten a lot of the movie. Quite a bit of it is pretty scary, though Amelia seemed to overlook a lot of that. Her first comment was that Snow White had a funny voice. She's right. It's high-pitched and warbly, and not something I ever remember noticing.

Because I was watching with a three year old, the movie quickly became a game of Twenty-Thousand Questions. I was tired by the time we hit the first commercial! She had questions about everything. Why did Snow White run from the prince? Who was in the mirror? When would she get to see the dwarfs? What was the huntsman doing with the knife? (Thank you, Walt Disney, for introducing the idea of murder to my young child.) Why did the dwarfs have such big noses? Why was the old hag/Queen rowing the boat? 

Ninety minutes of non-stop questions. We probably got pretty close to 20,000.

But the best part of the movie came when the seven dwarfs finally appeared on screen. Snow White thinks seven children live in the house, and when she meets the dwarfs she says, "Why you're not children! You're little old men!"

Amelia said, "They aren't men. They are dorks."

Jeff and I laughed out loud. She doesn't even know what a dork is. She was just mispronouncing "dwarf." We worked on it, but she still mostly said "dwork" instead of "dwarf."

I'll never hear the title of the movie again without laughing.

To offset all of Snow White's naive hand-wringing "Oh, dear whatever shall I do?" and waiting for her prince to come save here, tonight we started watching Mulan.

It's a nice contrast when it comes to the main character, as Mulan takes charge of her own destiny, but since it is set in China it has brought a real onslaught of cultural questions. We only watched the first 20 minutes, but I'm sure I'll have to pull out "I don't know, Amelia. We'll have to look that up," before this movie's over!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dinner Show

The other night the boys flipped Amelia's princess tent upside down and sat inside with their bedtime bottles. As you can see, it turned into a major gigglefest.

Clearly the bottle has become entertainment now. Which is fine, because at 18 months we'll be done with the bottles for good. We're down to one bottle shortly before bedtime, and I can't even begin to count how many bottles we've assembled, filled, and washed in those 18 months. And I even nursed for the first six months, though not exclusively, but it still helped cut down on bottles.

I do remember that in the early days we fed seven times a day. We had 21 bottles so we could get through a 24-hour period without washing, though we never went that long without running the dishwasher with a top rack full of bottles. As soon as the boys turned one, I did away with all bottles except this last one before bedtime. I was so tired of dealing with bottles! Getting down to just three bottles -- total -- in a day was really a dream.

We've hung onto this bottle because it usually keeps the boys quiet (or at least entertained!) long enough for us to have supper.

I'm sure they will find new ways to entertain themselves and us once the bottles are gone for good.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms with Smoked Gouda

I love stuffed mushrooms, but I'm not a big fan of the filling in sausage-stuffed mushrooms, so I came up with this alternative.

They are so good that people have looked at the empty dish with tears in their eyes.

The star of this show is smoked gouda. I suppose you could use any nice, flavorful cheese, but I'm especially fond of gouda and the smoky flavor stands up well to the mushrooms. I'm also a big fan of the baby portabellas, which have a great, earthy flavor, but white mushrooms would be good, too.

I love to serve these as an appetizer with almost any meal. Chicken, salmon, hamburgers. They go with anything. Really, they do.

These babies have even converted mushroom hater or two, though not all have succumbed to their deliciousness.

Here's the recipe:

Stuffed Mushrooms with Smoked Gouda
1 pkg. baby portabella or white mushrooms
1/2 C. grated smoked Gouda
1/4 C. crushed garlic and herb croutons

Clean the mushrooms and remove the stems. Place the mushroom caps top down in a greased baking dish. Place a small pat of butter in each mushroom cap (1/2 tsp. or so). Pack with grated cheese. Sprinkle crushed croutons over all and sprinkle with a little salt.

Place mushrooms in a 425 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes or until mushrooms have softened and browned a bit. If your mushroom caps are fairly large, it may take more time. If they are small, they'll take less. (It's not rocket science, is it?)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving, so you don't burn your mouth on the cheese. As the chef extraordinaire, you will want to taste test these beauties and add an extra sprinkle of salt or even a dash of garlic powder if they need it.


© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eloping to Kenya

Today I got a message from Amelia's preschool, asking me to please pick her up by 4:30.

I had to assume the worst.

But as it turns out she and one of her friends had gotten "married" and were moving to Kenya. They are on safari this month at preschool and are learning about zebras, grasslands, and apparently African nations, too.

Amelia told her teacher she had five babies in her tummy. (She just had to outdo her mama!)

She said the babies would be coming out at five o'clock, hence the request to pick her up before then.

Thankfully, when Jeff arrived at 5:15 there were no extra babies to bring home. Whew!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Ernie

Yesterday was my dad's birthday. Amelia devoted a considerable amount of time to making Grandpa Ernie a birthday present, which we will wrap and present with appropriate seriousness when he comes to visit in a couple weeks.

Last night as Amelia and I were snuggling up at bedtime she told me how she wants to make cupcakes for Grandpa's birthday when he comes. (Any excuse to make cupcakes!)

Amelia and Grandpa Ernie

Pretty soon Amelia said, "At my next birthday I'm going to be four, Mom!" Yes, dear, I know, and I'm trying not to think about it.

Then she asked, "How old will Daddy be at his next birthday?" I told her Daddy would be 39.

Then she asked how old Grandpa Ernie was "at this birthday." I told her that he turned 83.

Amelia thought about that for a minute. Then she said, "Mom, when I grow up I want to be...what number is Grandpa Ernie?"

"Eighty-three," I replied.

Amelia said, "Yeah. I want to be 83 when I grow up. That's a lot!"

It sure is!

Happy birthday, Dad. Hope it was a good one. Amelia can't wait to help you celebrate with cupcakes. 

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bubble, Toil and Trouble

One of the best parts about being a multiple is having someone who shares your interests.

And yes, I did just post a one-minute video of my kids blowing spit bubbles on my blog. Why? Because I can! :-)

(Please keep reading despite my minor lapse in judgment in subjecting you to this video. Love you all!)


© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bouncing Boys and Girl

Aunt Allie (Jeff's sister) came to visit us for her spring break, but the weather hasn't been very spring-y, so today we took the kids for some fun indoors. We went to a place full of inflatable bounce houses and slides.

The boys enjoyed running around the place more than the bounce houses, but Amelia had a blast jumping and going down the slides.

Aunt Allie and Alex hang out.

Sam gives bouncing a try.

Isaac gets a lift from Daddy.

Amelia checks out the baby area with her brothers.

Amelia enjoys  the biggest slide in the place!

We were only there for about 90 minutes, but that was long enough. It really was about all I could take. The place was so noisy! Between all the blowers for the inflatables, the screaming kids and the arcade games it was overwhelming. I can't imagine going to work there every day.

Hard to believe, but it made my house seem downright peaceful by comparison.

That might be reason enough to go back sometime.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Black and White and Fun All Over!

The other day Jeff and I took Amelia to see "101 Dalmatians: The Musical." We had a great time. The musical is very different than the Disney movie, which we have seen wa-a-ay too many times. For the past two weeks we have been talking about how the show would be different from the movie, which really helped Amelia.

Jeff and I hadn't seen the musical, so we didn't know exactly what to expect. It was quite a bit different, though the story was pretty much the same. Amelia had a little trouble with the concept of people playing dogs, since their costumes were just black and white spotted clothes. She kept asking where Pongo was, and we kept pointing out the same actor over and over. I think she caught on about halfway through.

We all enjoyed the singing and dancing. But the best part was the live dalmatians that were part of the show. Amelia kept asking when the real dogs would be on again. They made about four appearances, and they got lots of cheers every time.

Amelia's favorite part of the show was at the very beginning when the narrator (a dalmatian, of course) was in his dog house and the lights went out. He banged into something and yelled, "Hey, who turned out the lights." That was probably in the first 30 seconds of the show, but that was what she told us she liked best when the show ended.

I don't know where Amelia got the idea that she would be able to meet the actors after the show, but as soon as the show ended she told us she wanted to shake their hands. Unfortunately because there was a second show, the actors didn't come out to the lobby. Amelia was pretty disappointed.

As we left, lots of kids were telling their parents how they would like to get a dog. (Kudos to the show's producers who had a GREAT disclaimer in the program about how much maintenance and obedience training dalmatians require.)

Our daughter, however, left saying she wants to be on stage.

Of course she does!

Maybe someday, Amelia. Maybe someday.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Do the Twist: Soft Pretzels with Cheese Dip

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I'm fortunate to have a great helper in the kitchen. Amelia loves to help, especially if it's a sweet treat we're baking.

I wanted to expand her horizons a bit by making something fun with her that wasn't so sweet. So we made soft pretzels with cheese dip. They were a huge hit with Amelia and the boys. (Mom and Dad, too, of course!)

If you've never made bread before, this is an easy way to get your feet wet. The dough is very forgiving.I have had very good success with a short, 20-minute rising and also with more than an hour rising where the dough doubles in volume. Perfect for the unpredictable life of a mom of four. I have even punched the dough down once and let it rise a second time so I could finish the job after the kids were down for a nap. It's hard to mess this one up, so don't be afraid to give it a try.

And don't be intimidated by shaping the pretzels. If you've played with play-doh, you can do this, too. And they taste the same no matter what they look like! This photo shows a floured work surface, but the recipe below specifies an unfloured work surface. We learned that it's easier to roll if you use little to no flour. (Less cleanup, too!) Start with none and add a little if the dough is sticking to the surface. 

Pretzels are a great baking project for kids. They can get really hands-on with it. Amelia loved making the pretzel shapes and watching them puff up in the boiling water.

This recipe makes one dozen good-sized pretzels, so shaping and boiling them takes about the same amount of time it takes to make a few dozen drop cookies. It's easy, it's fun, and the results are delicious!

Here's the recipe: 

Soft Pretzels
1 package yeast (1/4 oz.)
1 C. warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 TBSP. butter, softened
1 TBSP. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2-3/4 C. flour, divided (I like to use 1 C. whole wheat flour)
8 C. water
4 TBSP + 2 tsp. baking soda
Kosher salt

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add butter, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour. (I like to use one all-purpose and one whole wheat.) Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Either use a dough hook for a few minutes or knead by hand for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise in a warm place for at least 20 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Punch dough down and divide into 12 equal pieces. On an unfloured work surface, roll each piece into a ball. Then, roll each ball into a rope, about 15 inches long.

To form the pretzels, lift the ends of the rope so they meet in front of you and form an oval, but do not join the ends. Lift the ends and twist them around each other about 3 inches from the ends. Gently press one end into the dough at 10 o'clock and the other at 2 o'clock. Place on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled or covered with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large pot or deep skillet. Add baking soda to boiling water. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Drop two pretzels at a time into the water. Simmer for 30 seconds, then flip them over and continue to simmer until puffed, about 30 seconds longer.

Hint: I found it worked best to put the top side of the pretzel in the water first. That way when I flipped them over for the last 30 seconds the pretzels were face up, and I didn't have to flip them again to place them on the baking sheets.

Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula. Drain and return to your baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Note: Instead of salt you could sprinkle these with cinnamon sugar, salt and rosemary, cayenne pepper or just about any other combination of flavors you can come up with. My next batch will be cinnamon sugar!

Bake until deep golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

Serve with prepared mustard and cheese dip, below.

Cheese Dip
8 ounces Velveeta, cubed
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, cubed
1 to 2 TBSP. milk

Combine cheese and microwave until melted, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk. Serve.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's Mischief in Haiku and Video

Mama's Losin' ItToday at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop one of the challenges was to write a haiku describing what you love about an ordinary day. A few short lines? I'm up for that on this busy laundry day!

Of course, it was harder than I thought, but here's my effort, plus a video at the end that shows off those mischievous grins!

I hear the ruckus
Yelling from the other room
I run not knowing

I find you all safe
Mischievous grins on bright faces
Making me wonder

Was the trouble real
Or is it that you enjoy
Watching Mommy run?

Three curious boys
Many adventures to come
What will today hold?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: The Big, Big, Big News

In honor of the second anniversary of that fateful day in 2008 when we learned that we were having triplets, here's how we told our family we were expecting again:

Amelia, 22 months, and on her way to becoming the BIGGEST of big sisters.

We just showed up to meet family at the water park with Amelia in this t-shirt. It took a minute for the news to sink in. And amazingly, I was there in my regular swimsuit, 10 weeks pregnant with the triplets. A couple weeks later and I never could have pulled that off!

Looking back, I cannot believe I survived the shock of learning I had triplets on the way when I already had one under 2. Then again, it was so surreal to be expecting three babies that I'm not sure I fully believed it until we delivered.

Despite all the fears and concerns we had that day, everything has worked out. I sailed through my pregnancy, Amelia has taken her uber-big-sister role in stride, the boys are all healthy, and although every day has its challenges (and some days many, many challenges!) overall life is good. And we are very blessed.

This post is part of Wordful Wednesday over at Seven Clown Circus.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seventeen Months Old

Yesterday the triplets turned 17 months old. Today they had their 16-month checkup, which was (thankfully) rescheduled from last month due to snow. Tomorrow marks two years since that fateful day when the ultrasound tech said, "I see three."

I cannot believe the boys are already 17 months old. You'd think that my lack of sleep over the past two years would make time go slower, not faster, but I swear the three of them were just six months old and learning to crawl last week sometime.

So here's the update on Sam, Isaac and Alex at 17 months.

Sam - 33 1/4 inches tall, 23 lbs. 12 1/2 oz. That's 90th percentile for height and about 35th for weight.
Isaac - 33 inches tall, 19 lbs. 3 oz. That's still almost the 90th percentile for height, but about 3rd for weight.
Alex - 33 1/2 inches tall, 23 lbs. 6 1/2 oz. That's 90th percentile for height and about the 35th for weight.

The doctor is happy with how they are growing, though he'd like to see Isaac put on a few pounds. So would we, but the kid eats great. So that's not the problem.

In fact, sometimes Isaac eats so much I wonder where he's putting it. The other day he ate three chicken nuggets, two servings of peas, a quarter of a good-sized sweet potato and fifty pieces of penne pasta. FIFTY!

I couldn't believe he ate all those noodles. He kept asking for more and I was checking his seat, his diaper, watching to see if he was tossing them to his brothers. But they were all going in, just as fast as he could chew them. I was a little worried he was going to burst. Isaac's probably going to be one of those skinny kids who eat anything and everything in sight. I'm glad he's not short in addition to being underweight.

Sam, Isaac and Alex are all talking quite a bit, and repeating everything. I need to try to write down all their words one of these days. They all say each other's names (well, more or less) now, which is impossibly cute. One of the words they all use a lot is "next." As multiples they hear that a lot, as in "You're next," so now they will ask to be next, especially when we're getting in and out of high chairs.

One of the funny things the boys are doing now is asking to be tickled. They will come up to us and say "tickle, tickle" as they tickle their bellies. And if one of them is lying on the ground, someone else will often come up and tickle them while saying "tickle, tickle."

We are also in the throes of the continued battle against climbing. We have had to put a board over the front of the changing table so they can't use the shelves as ladders. And now that they are getting so tall, they can reach the buttons on the TV with just a little help. So I spend a lot of time telling them to get off Bumbos, toys, and each other and leave the TV alone. Alex is the most fascinated, and is responsible for all of us learning that the maximum volume on the playroom TV is 47. Mickey Mouse at that volume will make you want to pull your hair out. 

We are so fortunate that everyone has stayed pretty healthy all winter, and that we have three active, growing boys on our hands!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

We Need to See "the Man"

A couple of weeks ago Amelia was throwing a fit about something, and I sent her off to calm herself down. She went to the basement playroom where I could hear her fussing and whining for a while. Then pretty soon I heard her playing.

After about 10 minutes she came upstairs.

"Mom, we need to go see the man," Amelia announced.

"What man, honey?" I asked.

"The man at the pet store," she said.

Oh, of course. THAT man.

"Why is that, Amelia?"

"Because we need a dog."

I chuckled and told her that the first man she needed to see about a dog was Daddy.

When Daddy heard the story his response was, "Crap. We're going to have to get a dog aren't we?"

Does she have him wrapped around her little finger or what?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Isaac the Adventurous

The other day we took the kids to play at the local Y. Thay have this great play tower (think McDonald's Playland, but without the half-eaten hamburgers and half-eaten french fries). All of the boys love it, but Isaac is usually the first to head for the top.

All of the kids can get their fill of climbing, running and chasing each other, and we can manage them pretty well since there's only one slide. It's a big twisting slide, so the boys can't go down alone, but it's also only one escape route for us to block, so it works pretty well.

We rarely dress the boys alike, but we've learned that when we take them out in public to run around and play it makes our job easier if we only have to keep track of one shirt times three, instead of trying to remember what all three are wearing. The downside of that is that it becomes pretty obvious that we have triplets. Inevitably we get questions.

That included a lady who said to me, "So all three of them are twins?"

Amelia was standing there and replied, very matter-of-factly, "When you have three they are called triplets."

Nothing like being corrected by a three year old, is there?

Thanks for taking that one, honey.

After we'd been there about a half hour, I was holding Isaac and chatting with a mom of one of the girls who was in Amelia's ballet class.

She gestured to Isaac and asked, "Now is he your most adventurous one?"

I said that yes, Isaac was pretty fearless. "Why do you ask?" I said.

She smiled. "It's just that 'Isaac' was the only name I heard for the first ten minutes you were here."

I just chuckled. There's no escaping the truth, is there Isaac?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Amelia's Bars" or Oatmeal Carmelitas

We had friends over for supper today.

(See, we still have a social life.)

Well, to be fair, they brought supper with them, but Amelia and I made dessert. We made Oatmeal Carmelitas, which Amelia refers to as "my bars," as in "Mom can we make my bars?"

It was really the least we could do for two people who made supper, played with the kids and then helped clean up while we put the kids to bed and poured a glass of wine. (Thanks, Rachel and Greg!)

Yep, the least we could do.

I mean really, the least.

The dessert was a big hit though, so by special request ("just put it on your blog," she said), here's the recipe for Oatmeal Carmelitas. I originally found it in a Pillsbury Bake-Off cookbook.

Oatmeal Carmelitas
2 C. flour
2 C. oatmeal
1 1/2 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. butter

Mix ingredients until crumbly. Press half into greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Cool about 10 minutes.

1 C. (12.5 oz. jar) carmel ice cream topping
3 Tbsp. flour
1 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. chopped nuts (optional)

Combine filling ingredients and pour over slightly cooled bottom crust. (I rarely add nuts, but either walnuts or pecans would be good.)

Top with the remaining half of the crust mix. You can sprinkle it over the top, but I prefer to flatten it between the palms of my hands and lay it over the filling so I get better coverage. Bake at 350 for another 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.

Refrigerate to set filling and cut into bars. They are sinfully good when warmed a bit and served with vanilla ice cream.


© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, March 5, 2010

Float Along with Us

I'm playing along at the Writer's Workshop again. This week's prompt: Tell us about your trip!

Smith River, Montana
May 2003

It was Memorial Day weekend 2003. We were in Montana to "float" the Smith River. Basically, you get in your raft and steer while you let the current carry you downstream for three days.

My sister and her husband, who live in Montana, had painted this idyllic picture of a lazy jaunt down the river with warm, sunny days, good fly fishing and gorgeous scenery.

The night before we put into the river it was 38 degrees. And we were camping. In a tent.

Floating the Smith River no longer seemed like such a great use of my vacation time. In fact, freezing to death seemed like a pretty good possibility. I hardly slept that night, and when I did I had disturbing dreams about being trapped in a meat locker.

Who would have guessed that by 10 a.m. the next day it would be 80 degrees and sunny? That's spring in Montana for you.

Although we never saw a fish, the trip was wonderful.

We had two perfect days of kicking along the river, stopping here and there to have lunch, hike and fish. We spent the nights in campsites with some of the best views in the world. The scenery almost made up for the open-air toilets. Almost.

At least there were toilets, even if I did have to announce to all of my fellow campers that I was headed for the loo so no one would come down the path and accidentally join me.

And the scenery was beautiful.

On our last day it started to rain, but we had just a short ways to go, so we put on our rain gear and smiled our way through it. And we were lucky enough to get this picture, because who doesn't look good in waders?

I like to call it "Montana Gothic." It's destined to become a classic.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Yay, Spring!

OK, so it's not exactly spring yet, but at least it was sunny and warm enough to go out today. I got the boys into their shoes and coats TWICE today to go play -- a sure sign that we've been cooped up far too long.

Sam, Mommy, Isaac and Alex all enjoy the swing together.

Sounds like the weekend is going to be nice, so here's hoping for more time outside in the days ahead.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

WFMW: Peanut Buttery Fix for Scratched DVDs

I love peanut butter. On toast. In cookies. Heck, straight out of the jar! When I was pregnant with Amelia I ate 18 pounds of peanut butter -- that was six, three-pound jars. No joke.

So, yes, I think peanut butter is great stuff, but when I saw a tip that you could use it to fix a scratched DVD, I was skeptical.

Well, I've got scratched DVDs. (Of course I do. I have kids. And, it's always their favorite DVDs that get scratched and won't play properly.) And I've always got peanut butter, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

The directions said to rub peanut butter onto the disk then buff it off with a coffee filter.

I picked a DVD that barely plays at all, figuring I had nothing to lose. I smeared it with a little extra crunchy Jif and buffed away. (A little goes a long way, so unless you want to buff and wipe the stuff off forever, go easy.)

For the record, I think creamy would have been easier to work with, but we are not a creamy peanut butter family. I just tried to work around the peanuts, and not rub those across the DVD. Figured that might make matters worse.

I used a paper towel to buff, since I'm not a coffee drinker. I finished the job with one of those lens cleaning cloths for glasses and camera lenses.

I made sure ALL of the peanut butter was cleaned off so I wouldn't ruin the DVD player, and tested out my handiwork.


I don't know what surprised me more: that peanut butter fixed the problem or that one of those annoying email forwards I get all the time actually proved worthwhile.

And as a bonus, I got to lick my fingers while I worked.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stack 'Em High!

Recently we got another toy from ebeanstalk to try out. Ebeanstalk is a toy website dedicated to selecting the best toys by age and kids' toys. Feedback from moms like me across the country helps ebeanstalk continue to provide the best educational toys for children. I encourage you to check it out for yourself.

This toy was an oldie but a goodie: a set of stacking/nesting buckets.

They were a big hit with all the boys from the minute I opened them. Even Amelia, who is almost four, wanted to join in the fun. I was glad there were 10 buckets so all three of the boys could share. Well, in theory anyway!

This set is nice and sturdy, as my guys have proven by sitting and even standing on the larger of the buckets. I know it's not what they are made for, but boys will be boys, won't they? And the plastic is holding up remarkably well to three sets of growing teeth. As a bonus they come in a bucket with a handle and a lid that doubles as a shape sorter. Since the shape sorter is popular around here, it's nice to have a second one.

I am a little concerned that I've taught my boys the wrong thing with these stackers, though.

The other day I used three buckets and hid a toy under one for the boys to find. It was a lot of fun for all of us. But later I saw Alex with three buckets lined up in front of him and there stood Isaac and Sam, guessing where the toy was.

Three card monty, anyone?

Disclaimer: We received the toy we tested free of charge, but I received no other compensation for this review.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, March 1, 2010


I turned the boys loose in the kitchen the other day. As they are getting taller they can explore new places. They recently discovered the second shelf of the pantry is a great hiding place.

Alex cracked me up, waiting for his brothers to climb in and then closing the door on them. At least he was smart enough to not get in himself!


© Trippin' Mama 2010