Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vacation And Puke Don't Go Together

I leave tomorrow for four days of vacation with my mom and sisters.

There were many, many things I needed to do tonight. None of them involved rashes and vomit.

Clearly, my children had other ideas.

One child clearly has a severe case of diaper rash. Another I believe to be heat rash. And the vomit? I think (hope, pray) it was the result of getting worked up over the pain of the bottom cleaning, butt paste and diapering.

And the recipient of the puke? Daddy, again. Even though I stay home with the kids now, Daddy always seems to be the one they puke on. It's been that way ever since Amelia was little, and frankly, that's fine with me. I've got enough gross jobs around here. Of course, I still have to clean up the mess.

I hope this all turns out to be nothing, because tomorrow afternoon I'm getting on a plane. So shape it up kids!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Who Told The Kids It Was Monday?

One of the nice things about this stay-at-home mom gig is that Mondays as we knew them in the business world just don't exist.

Sure, Daddy goes back to work after two days of being home with us, but there's no Monday morning staff meeting, no listening to the office partier tell more than you want to hear about his weekend, no complaints from the singles in the office about having to get up before their weekend sleep-in time of 11.

Then there was this morning. Who the heck told my kids it was Monday?

The boys all woke up early -- too early given their lengthy and loud party/cry fest in their room last night. And they all got up CRABBY! Nothing like three crying almost two year olds to start your day off right.

"Mommy hold you!" was the morning's rallying cry. Of course, sitting down and holding all of them on my lap satisfied no one. They all wanted to be held in my arms, head on my shoulder. Ugh. That's one of those moments when having multiples is really tough.

Then came the food throwing and the fits over diaper changes. Those fun activities were followed by pushing, hair pulling and biting. Within an hour of waking up, one of the boys had been put in time out five times for pulling hair. By this point, I was pulling on my own hair!

I texted Jeff to say I thought we should lock all the boys in a room and keep the survivor. He wasn't even here to hear the deafening, ear splitting screaming and he agreed!

That kind of morning makes you pray earnestly that you can survive until naptime. We made it, thanks to an executive decision to hit the sack early.

I wish I could say the nap magically cured the crabbies, but it didn't. At least I felt better after a little peace and quiet! And hope was on the horizon  that Daddy would soon be home.

Yep, it was a real Monday here in Mommyland, but at least I didn't have to endure it in pantyhose and heels.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Potty Training: Please Pass the Neenies!

Warning: Potty update ahead. If you're not interested, then please feel free to come back tomorrow!

We've been at this potty training thing for three months now, and I am quite pleased with our progress to date. We currently have all three boys going on the potty at potty time within a minute or two. This has greatly reduced the time I spend in the bathroom, which is a MAJOR victory for me!

We are rewarding the boys with M&Ms, or "neenies" as the boys call them. They get two for piddling, and we've just started to offer a third M&M if their diaper is still dry when they get to the bathroom. Already they have started to ask, "Still dry?" when I get their diapers off. And they are starting to tell me when they have to go. All of which is very exciting if you've been doing diaper duty times three for almost two years!

I don't have any magic tricks when it comes to potty training triplets. I've just tried to be consistent, though I definitely had days when I could only muster a couple of rounds on the potty. When I was waiting and waiting and waiting for them to go, or they wanted to play instead of potty, it was just too much work for mama!

A lot of people have asked why on earth I would train so young. I did it simply because my boys were ready. The other day Sam walked up to Jeff and say, "Change diaper, Daddy." If they can ask like that, they are more than ready! But, as a fellow triplet mom pointed out, mom has to be ready to potty train too. It's a lot of work, on top of an already crazy life. I just looked at it as a schedule change, adding in a couple rounds at first, and more as they got the hang of things.

The next step for us is training pants, but that will have to wait until after Labor Day. I'm heading out next week for Girls' Weekend with my mom and my sisters, and Daddy's in charge. He'll do great, but there's no need to throw an extra challenge into the mix. After all, I need this trip to go well on the home front so I can leave again before the kids turn 18.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sam The Parrot

It would be an understatement of epic proportions to say that last night we didn't get very much sleep around here. The boys all have yucky, runny noses and kept waking up crying to be held. Amelia, thankfully, didn't wake up until about 4:30 a.m. when she had a bad dream.

By 5:15 this morning I gave up. I took Amelia and all the boys to the playroom, threw a bunch of blankets and pillows on the floor and we snuggled up. It was the only way I could hold everyone.

As Jeff and I were getting everything organized, we were trying to adjust the light so we'd have some, but not so much that everyone would be wide awake. (Ha! Someone put a couple dozen quarters in both Sam and Amelia, so they were ready to roll at 5:15.)

Anyway, at one point Jeff turned off the only light before I could turn on a lamp.

Out of the darkness came Sam's voice, in perfect cursing intonation: "Oh, damn it!"

Jeff and I began shaking with silent laughter. I know Sam learned the phrase from me one day a couple weeks ago when I was frustrated with Alex repeatedly getting out of his car seat straps. I only said it once, but Sam the Parrot picked it right up. He said it several times immediately after learning it. In a public place, of course.

"Damn it Alex. Damn it Alex." It was clear as a bell, and there was no way I could pretend Sam was saying something else. So I just gave him goldfish to stuff in his mouth.

Thankfully he hasn't said it since. Until the wee hours of this morning.

Turns out Sam not only learned the phrase, he also learned proper context for its use, too.

I'm so proud. What mother wouldn't be?

At least it gave us a good laugh just when we needed one.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

From My Kitchen: Pork Tenderloin Rafael

Every week our newspaper runs some new recipes. I often pull a few out to try, though it's sometimes a couple of months before I get around to it! This one was published way back in May. And I just made it last weekend.

It was so good that I am sorry I didn't make it sooner.

I know you're thinking that pork tenderloin takes a while to make, and you don't have time for this dish. Believe me, you do! It takes just 30 minutes.

You need 10 minutes after seasoning to let the meat soak up the delicious flavors of garlic and rosemary. And your cooking time is only 10-12 minutes, thanks to a good searing before baking, plus another 10 minutes of resting covered in foil. I was sure that wouldn't be enough. I expected the tenderloin to be underdone when I cut it. It wasn't. It was moist and tender and cooked to perfection.

The combination of simple ingredients: rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper made a fast, easy and delicious dish that is company-worthy. I served it up with a green salad and oven-roasted potates and carrots, since I had to use the oven anyway.

This comes courtesy of Rafael Mendoza, chef for an auto racing team. Here's the recipe:

Pork Tenderloin Rafael
2 cloves chopped garlic (I used the pre-chopped in the jar.)
1/4 C. olive oil
2 pounds pork tenderloin
2 sprigs rosemary, stripped and chopped (I used 2 tsp. dried.)
Kosher salt
Fresh-ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix garlic and olive oil. Trim tenderloins of any fat or sinew and discard. Drizzle garlic oil over the tenderloin, reserving a little for serving, and rub in on all sides. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Let the pork rest for 10 minutes. You could do this prep work a few hours or even the night before, which would let you turn out this fabulous dish in just 20 minutes, making you look even more amazing!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, preheat large skillet to high heat. Sear the pork tenderloin on all sides. I cut my tenderloin into two pieces so it would fit well in the pan and I could sear it really well, about a minute or so per side, browning it a bit. When tenderloin is completely seared, place in a large baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover in foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thin, drizzle with remaining garlic oil and serve.

Mmmmm! Really simple and seriously delicious. Impress someone you love with a little Pork Tenderloin Rafael soon.


© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Life As We Know It

It's 10 p.m.

I just got back from a run to the grocery store half an hour ago. (Don't you love stores that are open 24 hours? On behalf of all busy moms, thank you, thank you, thank you!)

Right now I'm doing laundry, trying to sort through fall clothes for the kids, making a photo book, blogging, and I just ate supper. Straight out of the pot on the stove.

Actually, what's on the stove wasn't intended for supper. I'm heading out next week for Girls' Weekend with my mom and sisters, and I was trying to get something in the freezer for Jeff. Then I realized I hadn't eaten supper yet, so I had a little of what was cooking. There's still plenty to freeze.

I wanted to squeeze in a little blogging tonight, and it seems to me that this snapshot is perfect blog material.

Because this is motherhood.

This is life as I know it.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: My Tractor Is Faster Than Your Tractor

We took everyone to the fair this year. All of the kids had a blast.

It's hard to pick the best part, but we went through this fantastic exhibit where kids get to experience life on the farm.

They gathered (plastic) eggs, fed animals, planted "seeds" and then immediately harvested the plastic veggies, milked plastic cows and gathered wool.

It was a hit with everyone.

The boys especially loved the pedal tractors. We were just grateful they were too short to reach the pedals. I can only imagine the havoc they would have wreaked.

Hopefully next year when they can reach the pedals they will be a little better at listening!

Play along with Wordful Wednesday at:

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Out and About

We've been out and about a lot lately. We really haven't stopped since we trekked to St. Louis.

A few days after we got back, we took the kids to the fair. (More about that later.) This weekend we checked out a local park that had a neat Children's Garden. (Sadly no pics, just great memories, but we'll be going back!) We left the stroller behind and the boys listened pretty well and marched back to the van when it was time to go.

Monday I took all the kids to JC Penney's for pictures. By myself. In my defense, it was a last-minute decision, and I was temporarily dazzled by the 40 percent off coupon for a weekday photo shoot. I set Amelia up to go first and show her brothers how it's done. She was a pro, and by the time she was done the boys were begging to have a turn.

They all did great for individual shots, but it was a bit of a circus trying to get a group shot. The photographer pulled it off though. You'll get to see some of those results when I get the CD of the photos in a couple of weeks.

Today we went to the library for story time. We've been going for quite a while, and I usually end up chasing boys around the room and using the stroller for time out. But we keep going because I know that's the only way they will learn. Today all of the boys sat and listened or participated in the songs and dances about 90 percent of the time. I was so impressed with them!

I was just thinking the other day that we've finally got this summer thing all figured out and now the seasons are going to change and I'm going to have to start all over again.

Then I realized that it's not the season that has changed. It's my kids. It has been five months since we started going outside to play in the unfenced yard. And I remember coming in after an hour because I was exhausted from continually chasing down boys and putting them in time out.

When we're outside these days I still have to make the boys sit out for not listening or going where they aren't supposed to go, but it's become a rare occurrence. Way back in April being outside was one long time out some days.

When we have a good series of outings like we've had lately and I realize that we've got a few more months before the bad weather sets in, I can almost believe that we'll be able to survive the winter!

I remember in the early days being overwhelmed by getting the boys out for more than a stroll around the neighborhood. Back then the effort was more mental than physical. The boys might cry a bit or need a diaper change, but they didn't scream to get out of the stroller, unbuckle their car seat straps, push each other down, run around instead of listening, or wander off. I just had to get over the hurdle of leaving the house with them and put up my bubble against all of the comments.

Now it's definitely more of a physical challenge. Hefting everyone in and out of car seats, wrestling them into the stroller, chasing them down when needed, putting them in time out.

But it is getting easier as the boys can do more for themselves and they listen better. There's still the risk that they'll all take off in different directions or I'll have more than one troublemaker on my hands, but I have found that doesn't happen as often as I worry it will.

I'm going to keep living my triplet mama mantra: "Be Brave"...at least until the next major breakdown.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

An Animated Inferiority Complex

My kids are on a Calliou kick right now. For those of you fortunate enough to be oblivious of this particular brand of hell, Calliou is a PBS cartoon. The main character is a little boy named Calliou (pronounced caye-oo, in case you care). He has a sister named Rosie and a loving mother, father and grandma.

Calliou himself is tolerable. It's his mother I can't take. She's giving me an inferiority complex.

Calliou's mom is ever-patient, always gentle, and full of fun ideas. She never gets mad, never raises her voice, and is always helping Calliou learn and grow. ALWAYS.

Of course, to be fair, her children are almost perfect. I've never seen Calliou pitch a fit, refuse to go to bed, or pull his sister's hair. He's an easygoing, ever-cooperative child. His sister Rosie is blessed with an even temperment and a happy, if a bit incessant and annoying, giggle. She never has an ill-timed meltdown or hits her brother.

Still, despite all that and the fact that she's a cartoon, Calliou's mommy and her perfect parenting make me crazy.

I suppose it's no different than the unrealistic expectation that home and garden magazines set for us. Just like my house could look good enough for a photo shoot, I could be Super Mom long enough to pull off a 20-minute cartoon episode.Well, some days anyway. I certainly could do it if my kids would live up to Calliou's behavioral standards.

I'd like to see Calliou's mommy go a few rounds with my crew here in the real world. Now THAT would be a cartoon worth watching!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Getting Soaked in St. Louis

Yes, still more adventures from St. Louis. I told you you'd get the full scoop. It's just taking me a little time!

Sunday morning our early birds were awake at their usual time, which was 6:00 a.m. in St. Louis. So we fed the kids breakfast in the room and headed out at 8 a.m.

Unfortunately, there's very little open on a Sunday morning at 8 a.m. Fortunately, St. Louis has a great park, Forest Park, home of the St. Louis zoo. Since we were planning to go to the zoo Monday, we decided to explore the park instead. After all, it doesn't take much to make our campers happy. A playground with a few swings and slides will do.

We found a great playground. As my kids played on the slides I watched out of the corner of my eye as some other kids turned on the water fountain. The day was already getting hot and I knew we were headed for the water before we left. Luckily I had thrown a dry change of clothes in the van for everyone, just in case.

We started by getting a drink from the water fountains, which was as entertaining as it was messy. We had a few fights over "HIT DE BUTTON!" But within minutes they were getting soaked and laughing and loving every minute of it!

I just tried to keep myself and the camera dry!

After our fun in the water we had a picnic in the park before heading back to the hotel for naptime. All of the kids fell asleep in the car, which undoubtedly contributed to the less-than-stellar naptime and two boys escaping from their beds!

While the kids were "napping" Jeff joined my sister and her family for the Cubs vs. Cardinals baseball game. By the top of the 8th inning I was ready for a drink. The boys and Amelia had a blast running around the room and going in and out of the closets, but I got tired of trying to keep them out of trouble pretty fast! I couldn't really take them anywhere by myself, but we did OK, thanks to a few videos, some new-to-us toys and our color crayons.

Once Jeff got back we hit the hotel pool. I have no photos of that. To hold my camera would have been to endanger my children's lives. It was all the two of us could do to catch three boys (all wearing life jackets) who had no fear of jumping in the water. Once we got them to take turns, the job got a little easier.

We took the boys out of the pool so we could give them a bath before supper, and Amelia stayed to play a little longer with her cousins. Just about the time we got the boys out of their life jackets, they all made a break for the water. My brother-in-law Kyle was the only one on that end of the pool, and when he looked up and saw what was coming, a look of sheer panic crossed his face. He stretched his arms out as far as possible, but Jeff and I grabbed the boys before they could get back in.

I laughed out loud at Kyle's expression. I recognized that look of panic. I've had it off and on for three years, ever since we discovered we were expecting triplets!

After a bath, a LOT of pizza and time playing with their cousins, the boys went down to sleep without a peep. And they slept all night. I can't say the same for Jeff. Early in the morning I woke up to find he wasn't in the bed. I went out to the sitting area to find him curled up awkwardly on a four-foot sofa. He said he was too sore to sleep. That was no surprise, after he spent almost two hours lifting 26-pound boys plus their wet life jackets out of the pool over and over and over.

Just one more reason this was a trip, not a vacation. Fun, yes, but a lot of work, too!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's A Mom Question

Amelia was awake at 4:00 this morning. Her legs hurt, she said. Probably growing pains, which I have never experiences unless you count my triplet pregnancy.

I gave her some acetaminophen and an ice pack and laid down with her. To say she was wide awake would be an understatement. First she started talking about our trip to St. Louis and what she liked (playing in the water and seeing the monkeys at the zoo) and what she didn't (the hippos -- too big!). Then she wanted me to tell her a story. Then when she'd settled down and I thought she was almost asleep, I told her I was going back to my own bed.

As I was getting up to leave, Amelia asked, "Mom, why do birds fly?"

I appreciate an inquisitive mind, but not at 5 a.m.

I told her that was a morning question (something we've come up with to stem the flow of questions at bedtime), and it would have to wait.

She replied, "It's not a morning question, it's a Mom question."

That may be, but this Mom isn't answering it until later in the morning!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

From My Kitchen: Let's Talk Turtle

When we were in St. Louis we visited Terrapin Park. It's a little park full of sculptures of turtles, large and small. I took tons of pictures that I wanted to share with you, but today is recipe day.

What's a girl to do?

Daddy, Sam, Isaac and Alex hanging with one of the turtles.

At first I thought, "What the heck. It's my blog. I can do what I want!"

This makes me think of a bad science fiction flick. Run, Amelia! Run!

But I hate to disappoint those of you who like my recipes, and I've already abused you enough with my sudden unexplained absence, so I decided to get creative. I was desperately wishing I hadn't already posted my Mock Turtles, so I would have a recipe to go with the turtle theme.

Alex checks out his terrapin friend while Sam offers back up. Isaac isn't so sure about this one!

Then, luckily for you, I remembered this delicious Turtle Cake that I used to make quite often. I guess it got crowded out by other things, but now that I've rediscovered it, I'll be making it again soon. It's a bonus that it starts with a cake mix, so it goes together in a snap. And who can resist the combination of rich, moist chocolate cake and buttery carmel? Not me!

And not these guys, either! (See how seamless this whole Turtle Cake/Terrapin Park post is? No, really. It's a work of art!)

Amelia, Sam, Isaac and Alex go for a s-l-o-w ride.

So without further ado, here's the recipe for some chocolate-caramel decadence.

Turtle Cake
1 box German chocolate cake mix
1 14-ounce bag of Kraft caramels
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Spoon half the batter into a 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

Melt the caramels, butter and evaporated milk in a small saucepan or in the microwave, stirring until smooth. Pour over the baked cake and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

You can omit the nuts, but that's really what makes it a turtle cake. Without the nuts, well you've still got a delicious cake, but it's not technically a turtle cake anymore. Still, since you've made it this far in this madcap post, you've earned the right to do whatever you want. Throw caution to the wind and leave those nuts out if you so desire!

Pour the rest of the batter over the caramel layer and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Seriously. I thought these would be cute shots, but now that I see them full-sized "ominous" is the only word that comes to mind. This bugger looks poised to eat my flower-picking darling!

This time of year I like to cover the cake and keep it in the refrigerator so the caramel doesn't get too runny. But don't worry, unlike its namesake, this turtle cake moves pretty fast -- at least in my house!

And now for those of you still with me (thanks, Mom!) the last of the gratuitous Terrapin Park shots.

Here's Amelia just moments before she slid right off the turtle's back and to the ground. It was a good six-foot drop. Some other dad at the park who was on her side of the turtle threw his iPhone and ran to catch her. He missed. Amelia scraped up her back and bruised her knee a little. Thankfully the iPhone survived so we didn't have to buy the guy a new one!

Amelia hams it up for the camera. See, no harm done!

Isaac makes friends with a hatchling.

Alex checks out the turtle eggs.
Sam welcomes a little turtle to the world.

Just think, if this were the good old days, you would have at least gotten invited over to eat the Turtle Cake while I tortured you with slides of my vacation. I guess everything isn't better in the digital era, now is it? :-)

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet Me In St. Louis

My recent absence was due, in part, to our trip to St. Louis. (I say trip, because you can't really call it a vacation when you're chasing kids, washing dishes, and fighting with nap time, can you now?)

This is my only picture of the famous arch. What can I say? I had my hands full!

We were motivated to make the journey because my sister and her family from Montana were going to be there. It was still a bit of a haul for us, especially given all the stops along the way, but a heck of a lot closer than Montana! Alex's sudden refusal to go in his diaper added a little time to our journey, but I kept telling myself that it was worth the diapers we are now saving!

Here's a pic of all the cousins together. Believe me when I tell you it was the best out of seven shots.

Our trip included vists to the park, the zoo, and playtime in the hotel pool. So really, nothing we couldn't do here at home, but still a lot of fun.

A teeter-totter that's just right for us! Sam and Alex balanced out Isaac and Amelia almost exactly.

Our trip also included two boys climbing out of their pack & plays at nap time. When Sam came walking out of the bedroom it was one thing, since I knew his crib was too close to the other beds, so it was easy to climb out onto a queen bed. But when Alex came out I knew I was in trouble. I scolded him and he ran right back into the bedroom and started to climb back in. Yikes! Since Alex and Sam nap in pack & plays during the day at home, this is very bad news.

I have put them back in the pack & plays at home for naps, but I keep a careful ear out now for sounds of an escape. I'm sure it won't be long and I'll have to give up the separate naps and put them all together in their bedroom instead. I just hope I can teach Alex to quit screaming upon waking before that becomes a necessity. Poor Isaac will never get all the sleep he needs!

Today we took everyone to the fair, so I haven't had time to go through all my pictures from St. Louis. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the turtles and Amelia's fall. That story really needs a few pics to go with it!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Do We Have Abandonment Issues?

I know, I know. I left you again. High and dry. Without so much as a warning or even a parting recipe to enjoy.

I am so sorry.

But on the bright side, now you've got something to discuss with your therapist. Or someone to blame for that last bowl of ice cream you ate.

Anyhoo, my departure was partly intentional, and mostly not. I planned to post a recipe on Friday, but we took a short trip this weekend -- all six of us -- and once I finished the craziness of packing, I was plumb tuckered!

So I started my recipe post and figured I'd drop it first thing Saturday with a little heads up that I'd be offline for a couple of days.

Turns out my ISP decided to take a vacation before I did! While we got back Monday night, we just managed to get back to the wide world of the Internet today.

I've missed you Internet. Don't ever leave me like that again.

So instead of a two-day absence, I've disappeared for almost a week. Sorry! Have a little Ben & Jerry's on me. It will make us both feel better.

I'm back now, and almost recovered from our trip. It was fun and not too full of adventure, which is always good. Despite Amelia's fall from the back of a turtle and the boys' overenthusiastic response to the hotel pool (can you say fearless?), we managed to follow the rule about not using insurance on vacation. Perhaps just barely, but we did it.

I've got stories to share, so forgive me for my sudden departure and come on back tomorrow! It will be worth the wait.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Equal Parts Brave And Crazy

We had it all going on this last weekend. Sleeping in the tent, eating s'mores, hiking, playing in the park, picnicking, and finger painting!

We took our finger painting project outside on the deck. Because I'm crazy, not stupid! Amelia got to start while her brothers were still napping. I was hoping it would increase her tolerance for the chaos that was sure to ensue once they got up. And it did, thankfully, since they spent more time walking away with the paint pans and stepping on each other's paper than actually painting.

Amelia insisted on using brushes, despite my talented demonstration and repeated explanation that these were FINGER paints and you could use your hands.

Eventually everyone tried out the brushes, which didn't minimize the mess or the fun.

Daddy "helped" with the mess by showing Sam how to paint his face.

That led Alex to do this:

Which led to this:

This, on the other hand, happened when Isaac tried to drink the paint:

All the kids had a blast, and thankfully when Crayola says "washable," they really mean it.

Play along with Wordful Wednesday at:

© Trippin' Mama 2010

P.S.: We got nothing from Crayola for this post. But we sure had a whole lot of fun with their finger paints!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fear The Turtle

When the boys were pretty little Jeff taught them all to do "noggins." The term came from the movie Nemo, where the sea turtles smack heads and yell, "Noggins!"

In our house it is, in theory, a gentle touching of foreheads, but sometimes the boys get a little too enthusiastic. You've got to watch them or you can take a head butt that will really ring your bell.

The other day I caught this video of Isaac and Sam doing noggins across the table. They couldn't quit laughing and neither could I!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Walk In The Woods

As part of our big weekend, we took the kids to the park. We "graduated" from the littlest playground equipment to the mid-sized equipment, which is more of a challenge for our little climbers. And it's more fun for Amelia, too.

I actually tried the kids out on the bigger equipment during a playdate with a fellow triplet mom earlier in the week, and the boys had a blast. It's more challenging for Jeff and me to keep track of everyone and make sure they don't tackle something that's a little too big for them, but they listened pretty well and we only had one minor mishap.

After a couple hours of climbing, sliding, and running, we broke out a little lunch. The boys sat at the picnic table like champs and ate a pretty decent lunch, and Jeff and I started to get cocky. We decided to take everyone for "a little hike." The idea was to just try it out, since we had to hold hands and that's still a pretty new concept to the boys. We each took ahold of two children and headed out.

The boys and Amelia LOVED it. We looked at the river, stopped to pick up ever single rock on the trail, and learned to watch where we were going! It was a balance challenge for mom and dad to keep little ones from going down while keeping our own footing, too. We figured we walked about a mile. The boys trooped right along the whole way.

I expected Amelia to enjoy it, but I was a little surprised by how well the boys did. I think they liked the freedom -- even if they did have to hold hands -- and exploring a new place.

We had one little problem with Alex wanting to break away from Daddy, but it was quickly resolved. I tried to carry Isaac at one point, because his little legs were barely long enough to reach from one step to the next. But he protested: "Want to walk!" so I put him back down.

It could have been a total disaster. We could have wound up with four crying children being carried out of the woods by two crying parents. Someone could have bolted off the trail or tripped and gotten hurt. We could have had more than one minor meltdown about the rule to hold hands.

But we didn't.

It just goes to show that you never know what might happen unless you try. We've learned over and over on this triplet adventure that you have to be brave. The worst rarely happens, and most of the time, the end result is worth the effort.

We've got four enthusiastic hikers on our hands now, so watch out world, because here we come!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fingerpaints, Slides and Hiking, Oh My!


It's been a fun-filled weekend here. We've been far too busy fingerpainting, playing at the park, hiking the trails, splashing in the pool, and sleeping in the tent to get in front of the computer and blog!

But never fear, I have lots of pictures and you'll get to hear all about it in the next few days.

Right now I've got to join Amelia in the tent for the night. I certainly need the sleep after chasing kids around the park and then hiking more than a mile while clutching the hands of small boys. Who continually stopped to pick up every single rock on the trail. And I do mean every rock.

I hope they are as tired as we are!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

From My Kitchen: Ham and Cheese Biscuits

These biscuits have garnered me many a fan over the years. They use refrigerated biscuit dough, so they are fast and easy to make. The addition of a little apple is what makes them special.

I think this idea originally came from a Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner, but if memory serves, you had to flatten the biscuits and seal the filling inside. That's just too much work. These taste just as good with half the effort.

Here's the recipe:

Ham and Cheese Biscuits
1 C. cubed cooked ham
1 C. shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese
1/2 C. chopped apple
1 can refrigerated flaky biscuits

Grease a muffin pan with cooking spray. Separate the biscuits, usually there are 10, and press them into the muffin cups. Press the dough up the sides, leaving a well in the middle for all the goodies you are about to add.

Stir together the ham, cheese and chopped apple. You can peel the apple if you want, but I usually leave mine unpeeled for that rustic look. OK, I do it because I'm lazy, but they taste just as good! I beg you to use a real apple that has some taste, and not a Red Delicious. I'm partial to Galas and Fujis myself. I like either Swiss or a nice sharp cheddar, so I use whichever I happen to have on hand.

Fill each of the biscuits with the ham, cheese and apple mixture, pressing it into the dough slightly.

Bake at 375 degrees for 13-18 minutes, until golden brown.

These are great in the warm months served with a generous salad and fruit. In the cooler months I like to serve them for supper alongside a nice bowl of soup.


© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Our First Sports Season Ends

Amelia had her last t-ball game this past Saturday. She got to be a pretty decent batter, and improved her throwing, and most importantly she had fun -- in the end.

Amelia makes contact.

Amelia had a few days where she was too hot, the sun wasn't shining enough, the breeze was from the east instead of the west, the grass was too green, and so on. And she wasn't the only one of the team of four and five year olds to have those problems. But she had great coaches who coaxed her and the other kids into playing and even enjoying themselves. 

Amelia gives Sam a pep talk.

I think the boys will miss t-ball more than Amelia. They loved cheering Amelia on: "Go Melia! Hit de ball!" And they got a kick out of running around the outfield, and sometimes even the infield. More than once they helped Amelia run the bases.

Sam and Alex decide to join Amelia on second base.

As for Jeff and me, I guess we'll have to find another way to get our five-mile run in before lunch.

Play along with Wordful Wednesday at:

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's All About The Shoes

Amelia has a lot of shoes. To be fair, many of them come from a friend, and she is the only girl in the house.

But as it turns out, Amelia is not the only one who likes to wear her shoes.

Alex shows off a nice summer sandal.

In fact, Amelia's shoes are the most sought after in the house. 

Isaac takes Amelia's heels for a test drive.

Almost every day I have to break up a fight over who gets to wear the hot pink Crocs -- and that's just among the boys!

 Sam proves that pink Crocs don't detract from the bad boy look.

I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with the hair bows and finger nail polish. It's just another one of the hazards of being a little brother to a big sister!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Odds and Ends

I am officially on the injured list. I have no idea what I did to my shoulder, or more precisely, what my children did to my shoulder, but I have been in pain for more than a week now.

Tonight I have succumbed to the lure of an old bottle of Vicodin. It's leftover from when one of my beautiful boys disclocated my ribs during my triplet pregnancy. I'm praying that it's got enough kick left to let me sleep well tonight. And that my children cooperate on that front, too.

So that's the reason for this post of random bits and pieces. Please excuse me if I ramble.


This weekend we bought three gently used 12-inch bikes for the boys. We bought them because Alex can already ride the one small bike we have. Yes, that's right. I have a 22-month old who can pedal and steer a bike. And his brothers are desperate to do the same. The only things preventing them from doing so is a little bit of height.

Please feel free to pray for us.

We got a great price on the bikes, although none had the training wheels anymore. Luckily, training wheels are cheap, too. Helmets, on the other hand, are not so cheap. But I'm thinking I can get my money's worth out of them by just teaching the boys to wear them from morning until night, regardless of their activity.

Swings? Helmet. Sandbox? Helmet. Color crayons? Why not? Slides? Definitely a helmet.

Fortunately, I don't need to use my shoulder to chase boys down the driveway.


Amelia went on a field trip to a dairy recently. She saw a cow give birth to a calf. She told me it was her favorite part because the calf was, "spindly" and looked funny trying to stand.

Then Amelia said, "But Mom, that cow had baby cow parts sticking out of her bottom! Gross!"

There was really nothing I could say to that was there?


Apparently I've hit a home run with my Italian Chicken recipe. Several of you have emailed that it was delish. Glad you liked it! If you haven't tried it yet, whip out your big skillet and a can opener. You can have dinner ready in 15 minutes.


I have recently developed a fairly serious addiction to Haagen Daas Dulce de Leche caramel ice cream. Oh. My. God. It is the best!

It all started when Jeff and Amelia went back to the Frozen North. The local grocery store had a sale on those little single-serving cups of ice cream. So I bought one for each night Jeff was going to be gone. It was part treat, part self preservation.

It was a mistake.

Now I can hardly resist the stuff. And yes, I KNOW how many calories are in a serving. At least the yum factor is high enough to warrant the calories.

Fortunately I am on a rigorous exercise program that involves trying to keep up with four little pairs of feet.


Peace out. Here's to good prescription drugs and a good night's sleep.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Life Here In The Commune

Life in the commune continued as usual today. By late afternoon I had three naked boys and one girl clothed just her underwear running around my yard.

In my defense, we had the sprinkler on, and swim diapers are expensive man! Not as expensive as designer poop catchers, but still. I hate paying for them when my kids are just in my yard. Besides, as I learned early on in my journey of motherhood, and often remind myself, urine is sterile. And sunscreen is cheap. But I am grateful for spray sunscreen. It makes taking care of all those bare bottoms a lot easier! 

As for Amelia, she has brothers, so she just wants to wear her "trunks" when I pull out her two-piece swimsuit. (Thanks, Aunt Mary. Didn't consider that, did we?) Undies, swim trunks. It was six of one, half dozen of the other, so why argue?

Actually, being naked in the yard is part of our potty training efforts with the boys. One of the things we've done that seems to have helped is to line the boys up to pee. Alex will go every time, and sometimes Isaac and Sam follow his lead.

We do try to keep in mind that our neighbors are selling their house, so we have the boys pee near our garden instead of their treeline. I'd hate for my potty training efforts to lose them a sale. On the other hand, whoever moves in may as well have a realistic picture of what they are getting into.

Isaac is really starting to make progress on the potty training now. He got M&Ms three times today -- a record for him -- and once he even asked to go and his diaper was still dry. Yay! Alex would go as many times as his mommy would put him on the potty, but some days that's more than others. Now that we've got two out of three taking a lot less time on the potty to get results, maybe I'll get them there more often.

This afternoon I watched Jeff try to get Isaac to pee near the tree just off the deck. I had to laugh because Isaac, true to his training to sit on the potty, kept sitting down on the ground. Thankfully he didn't pee, because while urine might be sterile, mud still makes a big mess.

Tomorrow we've got a playdate, so I guess I'll have to clothe the children for a change...
© Trippin' Mama 2010