Sunday, February 28, 2010

They Call Him Stumpy

Since the present moment leaves a little to be desired unless you are wildly interested in my kids' temperatures and their stomach contents and emptying thereof, it's time for a blast from my past.

Right after I graduated with my Master's degree, my hubby and I moved to a new town so he could do his PhD. I took a job as a copy editor at the local paper. (My undergrad degree is in journalism.) I wanted to write, not copy edit, but I am suitably anal retentive when it comes to all things grammar. But, it was a paying gig with insurance and a 401K, so a far cry from the waiting tables I was doing.

Every night one of the copy editors came to work an hour after everyone else and then stayed late to "put the paper to bed." If that was your shift, you were responsible for any last minute changes and if there was a problem that delayed the paper from running on time, it was your job to call the managing editor. Undoubtedly waking them from a sound sleep, of course. If the delay went on long enough, you got to call the executive editor. And if it was really bad, you got to call the publisher.

Sounds fun, right? But I was reassured it had never happened.

After a few months, I was assigned my first late shift. On that very first night, I was up in the newsroom whiling away the last 15 minutes until I could go home. All the final changes were made, and the press guys had the paper running full speed. Piece of cake. Then all of a sudden the alarm sounded, signaling that the press had stopped.

I wasn't concerned. The press often stopped for a paper break or some other minor mechanical issue. I got up from my desk and wandered down to the press room. When I showed up, the press was still stopped and everyone was looking around on the floor.

It was then that Dave, the press chief, walked up to me and uttered words that I will never forget. "It's going to be a while. Stumpy lost another finger."


There were so many things wrong with that sentence that it took me a minute to process.

"Stumpy lost another finger? STUMPY? ANOTHER?"

Apparently Stumpy had lost a finger in the press before. Dave explained that was how he got his nickname.

As it turned out, Stumpy was fine. They had to talk him into going to the hospital to be checked out, but he only lost part of a finger, from the first knuckle up. So he came back to work. (Of course he did.)

My problem was that once the press was stopped for 15 minutes I was going to have to make the phone call to the managing editor. I was a rookie, and by 10 minutes I was really sweating it.

But they couldn't find the piece of finger. (And you never saw so many people looking for something they didn't really want to find.) They checked everywhere, until it became obvious that the finger must have made it to the inserter -- the machine that stuffs the preprinted ads into the printed newspaper.

Not exactly what you want to find when you open your paper over breakfast, is it?

Once they determined that the finger was already IN a newspaper, they pulled all of the papers and trashed them, then restarted the press, just in the nick of time.

I went home and I just couldn't help myself. I had to wake my husband up at 1 a.m. to tell him that Stumpy lost another finger.

It's still a story worth repeating, and proof that truth is stranger than fiction!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

On The Mend

Sam woke up at 3:40 a.m. with the fever. He's the last one to get it and so far (knock on wood) he hasn't gotten the pukes.

In an attempt to get someone some sleep around here, Jeff and Amelia "camped" in the basement last night. Jeff went to bed when she did, so when he came up to a crying Sam at 3:40 he'd had a good seven hours of sleep -- a very BIG deal around here. We traded off, though I didn't sleep all that well. I should have had my earplugs.

We've decided to keep "camping" in the basement for the next week or so, and even set up the tent, while we work on getting the boys to sleep better at night. They are champs about going down, but staying asleep is another matter. Amelia, bless her heart, is a star about staying in bed, but even she has complained recently that she's tired in the morning because the babies have cried a lot the night before. So this way hopefully she can get more sleep, too.

And speaking of sleep, it's off to bed with me!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Catholic Much?

I tweeted this the other day, but some of you probably missed it, and I wanted to capture it on the blog for posterity. This is my kids' baby book after all.

When Amelia was home sick earlier this week I emphasized how important it was that she keep her hands clean so her brothers wouldn't get sick, too. I guess she heard me loud and clear! 

When the boys went down for their nap Amelia asked if she could clean up and play with some of their toys.

Amelia: "Mom, I need to baptize my hands."

Me: "Baptize? You want to wash them?"

Amelia: "No. Baptize, Mom!"

Me: "Oh! You mean sanitize!"

Apparently she's been  listening very carefully when we tell her the story of her baptism and her brothers' baptisms!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Good Day for Something Sweet: Strawberry Salsa

Thanks to everyone who checked in by commenting, by email and through Twitter. Today was better than yesterday, due in no small part to the fact that the WBH stayed home.

Isaac still has a bit of a fever, and we held him a lot today, but he was better. Here's hoping we've turned the corner.

Even with Jeff here, it has been a long day and I need to get to bed ASAP, so I'm posting another recipe even though I just posted one a couple days ago.

I have to admit that I posted my first recipe because I was short on time and hadn't posted in a week. I was desperate for content, but I've discovered that my recipe posts are among my most popular. We must all be hard up for new ideas! Stay tuned, because soon I will be adding a page to the blog that lists all of my recipe posts for easy reference.

But tonight, in answer to a special request from Molly, who commented on my Mango Salsa post that I should share this recipe, I present to you: Strawberry Salsa.

Now I love salsa.

And I love strawberries.

But the two of them together? I admit I was skeptical when I first came across this recipe.

Then I made it, and mmm, mmm! Sweet juicy strawberries with a kick of jalenpeno and garlic. Yum.
Just goes to show how important it is to try new things, because you never know what you might like. Make this salsa and become a believer.

Here's the recipe:

Strawberry Salsa
1 pint fresh strawberries, diced
4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 to 2 medium jalepeno peppers, minced
juice of 1 lime
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil

Combine strawberries, tomatoes, onion and peppers. Stir in the lime juice, garlic and oil. Cover and chill for 2 hours for best flavor. This is delicious with chicked or pork and, of course, as a dip with tortilla chips. The strawberries tend to get mushy by the next day, so don't feel guilty about eating it all.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dear Today, You Suck

Dear Today,

You suck.

Sorry to be so blunt, but someone had to say it.

You've sucked from the minute I got up with the first triplet at 12:30 a.m. You still sucked at 2 a.m. At 3:15 a.m. At 5 a.m.

The suckiness continued at 7 a.m. when it became clear that Isaac had succumbed to the illness going around our house. Fever of 102, you suck, too.

Trying to take care of three other kids while carrying a 20-lb boy on one hip all morning. Sucked.

Incessant crying and whining. Sucked.

Finally getting everyone down for a nap and then lying down myself for some much-needed rest, only to be greeted seconds later by crying. Sucked.

For the record it sucked when the second and third babies woke up in the middle of the nap, too.

I think that was when I tweeted that I thought I should get a nanny and return to work. At least then I'd be getting paid to listen to my colleagues whine.

It's 3:30 now, so you still have a chance to redeem yourself, though I must admit I'm not very hopeful. You do have sick children working against you.

Still, do your best, would you? Thanks.


Trippin' Mama

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Parenting Is Like the Olympics

When the sound of a puking child broke the silence last night I executed some Olympic medal-worthy moves to go to her aid.

Seriously, I could have competed on the snowboard halfpipe with my moves. I launched myself from a prone to position to fully upright and across the room without touching the floor. Then I upped the degree of difficulty by pulling on a robe as I flew down the hall. Extra points for being unable to see because I didn't have my glasses on.

Eat my powder Shaun White!

Except for the fact that there are no medals or big endorsement deals, parenting is just like the Olympics.

Ever tried to answer a child's difficult question without really answering it? I give you ice dancing.

Navigated your playroom at breakneck speed to prevent further disaster or harm to a child? Slalom.

Sped through the day's schedule dodging tantrums and meltdowns at every turn? Why, downhill skiing, of course!

Felt that your days go around and around, endlessly the same? Speed skating it is!

Clearly I'm caught up in the Winter Games, but there are lots of Summer Games events that parents could compete in, too.

Child in danger? 100-yard dash, baby. Depending on the circumstances, you might even break a record!

Your child’s first day of school, first day with a driver's license, first date? Well, I don't know about you, but I'm thinking my stomach will feel like I'm about to dive off the 10-meter platform.

Juggling everyone's schedules and needs? Sounds like the balance beam to me.

I just hope Amelia keeps this bug to herself, or I'll be doing the decathalon around here. And I'm pretty sure I haven't trained enough to compete.

How about you? What's your favorite Parenting Olympic event?

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

Craving Something Fresh? Try Mango Salsa

Winter is starting to wear on me. For a short month, February always seems to drag on and on. And even though I know spring is just around the corner, it can't get here fast enough!

I can't hurry spring along, but I can whip up something fresh in the kitchen, so that's what I did this weekend. Both strawberries and mangos were on sale last week, so I made a fresh fruit tart (I will post that recipe soon, I promise!) and some mango salsa.

This mango salsa is full of fresh flavor, and you can make it as hot as you like. It's quick and easy to make and delicious with chicken, salmon or pork, or eaten straight out of the bowl with chips. Here's the recipe:

Mango Salsa
3-4 mangos, chopped
   You want the mangos just barely ripe. They need to be slightly firm, otherwise you will make mango mush.
1/2-3/4 C. finely diced red or sweet onion
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos)
1-2 jalapenos, finely diced
   Add the jalepeno a bit at a time after adding the chipotle and check for heat. It will "cool" as it sits.
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 
Juice from 1-2 limes
   If you have big juicy limes it will take just one, but if they're small or not very juicy, go with two.
1 tsp. or so of salt, to taste 
Fresh black pepper

Toss mango, onion, chipotle, jalapeno pepper, and cilantro together in a large bowl. Squeeze lime juice over all and toss to coat. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Go easy on the salt, especially if you are serving with chips. I always taste test mine with chips so I don't over salt it.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Amazing Alex

The boys have entered that annoying phase of throwing food. The biggest problem is that one does it and the other two find it funny and join in. I can't remove everyone's tray fast enough!

The biggest culprit is Alex. So, the other day at snack time I took his tray away and left him with just the small piece of graham cracker he had in his hand. That's when Alex discovered that he could do this:

Hmmm...if my fingers can hold food, why not my toes?

Look, Mom!

What do you mean I shouldn't eat it? It's still food.

I'm sure this skill will come in handy down the road. It's bound to be big with the ladies, right?

In the meantime, it sure draws big laughs from his brothers.

Note to self: Wash Alex's feet more often.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Triplet Sleepover

All the boys decided to play together in one crib the other day, so we snapped this picture.

Triplet sleepover, anyone?

Jeff and I had an actual date night tonight, so that's it for the post.
If you don't like it, you can complain to management.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010


Today I went to the grocery store. I was proud of myself for remembering to pull my reusable bags out of my purse, something I often forget. I asked the bagger to put my meat in plastic and then use my bags and plastic for the rest.

When I got out to the car I realized that none of my groceries were packed in my reusable bags. I was annoyed at the thought of having to go back into the store to reclaim my own bags. Then I pulled this out of my cart:

Yep. Those are my reusable bags INSIDE a plastic bag from the grocery store. A bag that says, "Our Environmental Promise."


Just classic.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Annabelle and Lulabelle in Upside-down Land

Time to play along for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop! Today's writing prompt: Childhood memory time: Write about something you loved to do as a child.


As the boys get older and interact and play with each other more and more I keep thinking about the things I did with my twin sister growing up. Cathy was my constant playmate and we did all the usual: Barbies, dress-up, playing school and house. But what stands out in my memory most of all is a silly game of pretend.

Cathy & me, about 5 years old

When we were about 5 or 6, Cathy and I would both lay down on this old coffee table that was relegated to the basement playroom. We would each hang our heads down off one end so we could look at each other upside down. When we were upside down we became "Annabelle" and "Lulabelle." We would have silly conversations as Annabelle and Lulabelle and giggle at how funny we looked with our hair hanging around our faces.

In my mind's eye I can see us laying there in our pajamas laughing at everything and nothing. I can even hear my mom calling from the top of the stairs, "OK, Annabelle and Lulabelle, it's time for bed!"

I don't know how long Annabelle and Lulabelle hung around, but that game is a childhood memory that stands out for me. And when I watch my boys laugh at each other and giggle with delight when we turn one of them upside down, I smile and nod, because I remember just exactly how funny that was when I did it with Cathy.

I can't wait to see what kind of silly games my own kids play and what things they will remember from their childhoods.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wordful Wednesday: Amelia and Bella

This is Bella and Amelia.

Amelia had just turned two in this picture. (I can't believe how little she was!) Bella is a friend's puppy, and she came to stay with us for a weekend.

Amelia LOVED Bella. In fact, after we kept Bella, Amelia named a stuffed puppy after her. That was the very first stuffed animal she ever named, and it's still one of few with a name.

But when Amelia found out that Bella was only visiting...

...she was very, very sad.

Doesn't that face just break your heart?

Amelia, don't tell Daddy I said this, but maybe someday (once everyone else in the house is potty-trained!) we can get a Bella of our own.

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

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Onesies by the Dozens

We are quickly approaching the second anniversary of the day the nurse in my doctor's office told me that I was probably pregnant with multiples.

And then we found out it was triplets. Gulp!

Somewhere in those early "Holy crap, triplets!" days I became obsessed with having enough onesies for three babies.

I suppose it was because that was something tangible I could get my arms around. It was also something I could control in a world that suddenly felt completely out of control.

In fact, the only thing Jeff and I bought at the first multiples sale we went to was onesies. We were only about two months pregnant, and everything else was just too overwhelming.

As a result of this obsession, when I recently went through clothes to sell, I discovered that I have more than 30 onesies. That is excessive even for triplets because in those early days we did laundry constantly anyway.

But the real story of those 30+ onesies is that they are a testament to how little I knew about being a mom of multiples.

I loved onesies for Amelia. I thought they helped keep her warm, and they were so simple. She wore a onesie all the time until she was about two.

My triplets wore onesies for one day.

Well actually, only two of my triplets wore onesies for one day. It was the first day Sam and Isaac were home from the hospital. The ninth or tenth time that I pulled a poopy onesie carefully over a little head, I realized that was just too much work when multiplied by two, let alone three. By the time Alex came home two days later, the onesies were all relegated to a great big stack in the closet. They never wore them again.

Even now I shy away from onesies of any kind -- plain, cute, long sleeved -- I hate 'em all. And you would, too, if you had to snap and unsnap them in triplicate for diaper changes all day long. Especially on squirmy little boys!

So now I'm getting rid of all those onesies, and as I do I have to laugh at how little we knew then and how different it is to have three to care for at a time instead of one. I just thought it was worth documenting my innocence (or ignorance!) going into this multiples gig.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010

Welcome, Baby Rowan!

One week ago today, Jeff's sister Susie and her husband Andy welcomed their first child, Rowan.

Rowan weighed in at 8 lbs., 10 oz, and was 21 inches long.

Look at those sweet baby cheeks! I wish I was there to snuggle him up and smell his little head.

Susie says he's "size tiny," but we had to laugh. When Isaac was two months old, he weighed exactly 8 lbs. 10 oz. I'm sure Rowan seems tiny, but he's the perfect-sized baby and, like all babies, he'll grow up way too fast.

Congratulations Susie and Andy. This will be the greatest adventure of your lives.

Welcome to the family Rowan. We're so glad you're here. 

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Funny Valentines

Happy Valentine's Day! We aren't doing anything fancy and romantic today, just enjoying a day together with the best gifts anyone could ever hope for:

There's nothing Jeff could give me that could be better than these four little cuties.

And speaking of cute, the boys have been giving hugs to us for a while, but just in time for Valentine's Day they've started to hug each other. Sam's the biggest hugger, though it was Alex who stole the show in this video:

Hope you enjoyed a great day with some of the people you love!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Amelia stayed with friends for a Valentine's party last night. She had a blast, but had trouble settling down at bedtime. Then she woke up in the middle of the night...twice. So this morning she was pretty tired.

I took her to ballet, but she didn't want to participate. First she told me it was going to be too hard, even though this is her 13th week of class and she knows how to do everything.

Then she sat down and said, "Mom, I just don't have any allergy."

I chuckled as I corrected her, "Don't have any energy, honey."

"That's what I said!"

Amelia warmed up, but then ended up sitting against the mirrors watching the other girls go across the floor. I gave her one warning that if she wasn't going to take part in the class, we would leave. After a few more minutes of watching her sit there, I braced myself for a fit of major proportions and picked her up to leave.

Surprisingly, Amelia didn't throw a fit. As we were putting on her sweatpants she said that she didn't want to leave. But when I told her that she could go back, but she had to dance instead of sitting there, she shook her head no.

So we left, and when we got home Amelia immediately went down for her nap. She fell asleep pretty quickly, so I guess she really didn't have any "allergy" after all.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Thanks to Beth at Beth, Will, Rod and the Quads for giving me the Beautiful Blogger Award.

Now I'm supposed to tell you seven things about me and then pass this award along to other bloggers I really like. If you've been reading this for any length of time, you probably already know too much about me, but here goes:

1. I am the youngest of eight (four boys and four girls), and have a fraternal twin sister. (Hi, Cathy!)

2. Every year since 2000, my mom, my three sisters and I have gotten together to celebrate a Girls' Weekend. Except the year I was pregnant with the triplets. (Sorry I broke the chain, ladies!)

3. My recipe posts get me in trouble, mostly with family. I've been accused of holding out, and am currently taking the blame for someone possibly not fitting into their shorts for an upcoming trip to Mexico. (Sorry, Aunt Illa!)

4. I have a Master's degree in International Conflict Analysis. International huh? Yeah, that. I plan to use my knowledge to defuse the deep-seated conflicts that will brew amongst my children as they become hormone-filled teenagers.

5. I grew up in a town so small that as a 4' 6" eighth-grader, I played basketball. I wasn't fast, I wasn't a good shot, I wasn't great on defense, and I sure wasn't tall. But I played. Mercifully I recognized my limits and didn't play in high school.

6. One time I was at a professional conference and a couple colleagues and I caught a ride back to our hotel with a new acquaintance...who had no arms. That's a post begging to be written, isn't it?

7. At this very moment I am failing miserably at making my grandmother's fushing grophas. Fushings are yeast doughnuts with no hole, and my grandmother made them every year just before Lent. It's my first attempt, now that I finally have her recipe. The dough has been "rising" for almost 6 hours now. I blame old yeast. Pretty sure I'll be pitching this batch and trying again.

Now to pass this award along to other bloggers I really like. Here's my list of good reads and fun-to-follows (in alpha order, of course). Be sure to go check them out.

Buried with Children (Jen is a fellow mom of triplets)
Hormone Colored Days (I get great blogging advice here)
I'm Living Proof That God Has a Sense of Humor (Helene is the funny mom of two sets of twins)
Mama's Losin' It (Play along at Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.)
Octamom (Not that one! This one has eight kids, including a set of twins and posts amazing pics.)
On Maxine's Mind (An old friend from high school who will make you laugh)
Ravings of a Mad Housewife (She's pregnant with her first and funny about it all)
Seven Clown Circus (A recent addition to my reader. I can't wait to play along on Wordful Wednesday.) 
Steady Mom (Good parenting advice for all. Just breathe!)
Two Peas and Their Pod (A couple who cooks. May I say, "Yum!"?)

Happy reading!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sam's Scars

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop Prompt #3.) Tell us about that scar. (inspired by Katie from Rooftop Harmonies)
That scar. That scar you bear broke my heart. There you were, just two months old, still so perfect and untouched by this world. Soft baby skin, tiny baby hands, fuzzy baby hair...and then, the chicken pox.
Oh, my, what a case of the chicken pox! Your brothers had them too, but Sam, you had enough chicken pox for all three boys. You were covered from head to toe and everywhere in between. In your tiny ears, on your baby fingers, all over your little back and tummy. You took it all like a trooper, but the sight of you nearly made me cry.
And worst of all, I was the one who gave you the pox.
Yep, that's right. When you and your brothers were just six weeks old, I got the shingles. And before I realized it, I had passed it along to you and your brothers when we nursed. From start to finish the three of you had chicken pox for five weeks.
Five weeks of calamine lotion, fussiness, and fever.
Five weeks of mommy guilt.
Five weeks of praying over each of you.
At last the plague ended, but a few scars remained.
And they broke my heart.
My perfect little babies now bore their first marks of living in this world. And I had to face the reality that no matter how much I wanted to, I could never protect you from everything.
Now you are 16 months old, and already there are additional scars. But I am learning to embrace them, because I realize that the only way you can go through this world unscathed is if you never really live.
Living means there will be accidents, missteps, and sometimes, scars.
Let's just try to keep that to a minimum, OK? Your mama's heart can only take so much.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Butter and Jam Thumbprints: Make Them for Someone You Love!

Yesterday's snow day gave Amelia and me the perfect chance to make cookies for Valentine's Day. I looked at a bunch of recipes for special cookies: sandwich cookies with hearts cut out of one side, cutout hearts, frosted hearts. But we have to keep things simple around here.

So, Amelia whipped up a batch of these:

The colors might be a little psychedelic, but they are 100 percent calorie free!

Once we put the Play-doh away I pulled out an old favorite: Butter and Jam Thumbprints. I usually make these at Christmastime, but I thought they'd be perfect for Valentine's Day when filled with a little red strawberry jam. 

We got a little more creative and made a heart-shaped well for the jam, instead of the usual thumbprint. 

A small heart-shaped cookie cutter would probably work best, but since I didn't have one of those on hand I used an oval 1/2 teaspoon. If you use a cookie cutter, you'll have to flatten the cookie slightly first, and remember not to cut all the way through. You just want to create a well for the jam.

Amelia helps clean up. Her favorite part of baking!

Here's the recipe:

Butter and Jam Thumbprints
1 3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C. butter, softened
2/3 C. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup jam, flavor of your choice

Preheat oven to 350. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in dry ingredients in two additions, mixing until incorporated.

Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place two inches apart on baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about a half inch deep. Fill with approximately 3/4 teaspoon of jam. Do not overfill the well or your jam will run everywhere once it heats up. Although it is the baker's privilege to eat those "mistakes" without guilt!

Bake until edges are golden, about 15 minutes. For even color, rotate pans from the bottom oven rack to the top oven rack halfway through baking. Cool on cookie sheets and serve.

Store in tightly sealed container up to 5 days.

Makes 24-30 cookies.

Enjoy these with someone you love!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Confessions of a Weather Weenie

It's hard for me to admit this, but I am a winter weather weenie.

There! I feel much better.

At least until the ridicule and heckling from all my friends and family who still live in the Frozen North starts rolling in.

I never used to be a wimp about a little snow, but boy have things changed.

You see, I grew up in a place where two feet of snow in one storm was not remarkable, and it didn't bring everything to a screeching halt. Then I moved south. Not way south, but far enough that 8 inches of snow is a major snowstorm. Far enough that I took my daughter out to play in the snow and you could see the grass through our snow angels.

We are getting our second round of snow in less than a week. I can barely bring myself to admit that the 5-9 inches we're getting today made me rethink taking the boys to the doctor's office for their checkup today.

Before the heckling begins I just want to point out a few important things:
1. Most people here do not know how to drive in snow. The other drivers tend to be a greater danger than the road conditions.

2. We don't have the snow removal equipment to clean much more than the major thoroughfares, which leaves a large portion of the roads untouched.

3. What in the world would I do if I got stranded with three 16-month-olds in the car? We can't reasonably walk across a parking lot together yet, and while our stroller is built for off-roading, it doesn't come with runners and a sled dog. The mere idea of being trapped for hours with three boys who would soon be bored and hungry and wailing is enough to send me screaming to the funny farm.

Jeff and I love to tell the story about our second winter here. We were expecting 14 inches of snow, and despite the panicked look in every newscaster's eyes, the idea of that as a major winter storm never even registered with us. Fourteen inches? We'd be driving to work tomorrow. Ha! How little we knew.

The storm hit New Year's Day. On New Year's Eve we were in the grocery store buying alcohol. Everyone around us had carts piled full of toilet paper, milk and bread. I wondered what the heck kind of New Year's parties people had around here. I even asked the cashier what was going on. She looked at me like I had two heads and said, "Honey, we're expecting more than a foot of snow. You won't be able to get out for days."

We still didn't believe it, but she was right. We didn't see a snowplow for five days. The only getting out we did was to join our neighbors, who hailed from Utah, in sledding down the big, unplowed hill that was our street while the rest of the neighbors peered out from their warm houses and called us crazy. 

Over time, we've adapted, and slowly, ever so slowly, I have become a complete winter weather weenie. Although I must admit having three little ones to contend with is pretty good justification for staying put. Maybe it's even smart.

Fortunately, before I had to admit to my weather wimpiness and call the doctor's office, they called me. "Would you mind rescheduling this afternoon's appointment? You know the weather is going to be pretty bad."

Oh, sure. No problem.

At least now I can blame my wimping out on them!
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

"I Want To Tell You Something"

In the last week or so Amelia has started to say, "Mom, I want to tell you something."

Sometimes it's something serious, or at least serious to a three year old.

Sometimes it's something ordinary, like what she wants for breakfast.

Sometimes it's something silly.

Like this afternoon.

"Mom," Amelia said. "I want to tell you something."

"I'm listening, honey. What would you like to tell me?"

Amelia grinned from ear to ear. Then she yelled, "BOO!" Then she laughed and laughed and laughed.

She made me laugh, too. So goes life with a three year old.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just A Typical Bath Night

Tonight was a typical bath night in our house. Jeff took two of the boys to the bathroom after supper. I followed right behind to help, because nowadays the boys want to climb into the tub -- even with their clothes on! You really need two sets of hands until you get them in the tub.

Once Isaac and Alex were splashing away I went back to the kitchen and got Sam, who was perfectly happy to be finishing his meal. I left Daddy in charge of the bath while I cleaned up the kitchen and played with Amelia.

Pretty soon I heard the call: "Incoming!"

That means Daddy has dried one of the boys, wrapped him in a towel, pointed him toward the door and turned him loose.

I turned around in time to see Sam come stomping down the hallway. I grabbed him and headed for the bathroom to ask Daddy if it was just the one on the loose, and spotted Isaac in our bedroom. I was just in time to see him pee on the floor and laugh as he watched.

Just a typical bath night in our house. The boys always get clean, and the floor somewhere in the house gets dirty. (But then cleaner than it was before. That's a plus, right?)

Thank goodness for hardwood floors!

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Phil Was Right

Well, turns out the groundhog was right. Winter is back in full force around here. We've got snow on the ground again, but at least this time the temperature's not so unbearable.


Tomorrow afternoon we'll probably take the kids outside and do a little sledding. Hopefully they will be bigger fans of the snow when it's not quite so cold outside. Last time they didn't last more than ten minutes, and Sam spent nine of those crying.


As for me, I learned a valuable lesson that first time out. If you are going to wrestle four small children into snow pants, boots, coats, mittens and hats, DO NOT put any of your winter gear on first. In fact, workout wear is more than appropriate. I was sweating like it was the Fourth of July by the time I had everyone ready.

Alex & Amelia

My winter-wear workout did make me appreciate how much effort my mom made to get us ready and out the door every day when I was growing up in the Frozen North.

But I also know that the silence she enjoyed while we were outside was definitely worth it.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Assign Me A Dewey Decimal Number

Today I went to the library so I could participate in a conference call without interruption.

It was bliss.

I now want to live in the library.

It's quiet. It's well-organized. They have Wi-Fi and outlets for my laptop. The bathrooms were clean, and I wasn't responsible for cleaning them. I could comfortably sleep under or on one of the large study tables. As long as it's quiet, I believe I could sleep anywhere.

And then there are, of course, the books. Stacks and stacks of books waiting to be devoured in the peace and quiet.

Heaven on earth.

I have always been a reader and a big supporter of libraries. I just never appreciated them as a potential domicile until this point in my life. You know, the point at which I'm surrounded by mostly-controlled chaos and four small children who are both energetic and LOUD.

Reading to the boys and Amelia ~ April 2008 ~ 6 months old.

I must admit my reading has fallen way off since the boys came. I still find time to squeeze a few books in, but far fewer than I used to read, unless you count Goodnight Moon; Little Red Riding Hood; Moo, Baa, La-la-la and a host of other children's books.

I must admit that I love, love, love children's books, and I love, love, love reading to Amelia, especially now that she enjoys books with more of a story to them. (Seriously, the nonsensical baby books are enough to make the staunchest supporter of reading to kids want to chuck in the towel.)

We like to get a really close-up view of our books around here.

Here's a list of a few of our favorite books for preschoolers that we have checked out of our local library recently:

Yum, Yum, What Fun! by Mara Bergman
Snip, Snap What's That? by Mara Bergman
Eating Up Gladys by Margot Zemach
Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
Will You Carry Me? by Heleen van Rossum
Sticky People by Tony Johnston
Granny's Dragon by Lisa McCourt
A Piece of Chalk by Jennifer A. Ericsson
My Father, the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle
Gulliver Snip by Julia Kay
Monster Toddler by John Wallace

Since I doubt my local library would allow me take up residence, and my husband probably wouldn't approve of that move either, I'll have to content myself with more frequent visits to check out more great books like these. Maybe I'll even pick up a few things for myself.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

10 Things I Never Knew Until I Became A Mom

It's really probably for the best that we enter parenthod relatively uninitiated. I think if most people really knew what they were in for -- beyond TVcommercials that show parents cuddling with adorable and charming or sleeping children -- the human race could be in serious jeopardy.

Until I was a mom I never knew that...

1. Sometimes the bathtub needs a garbage disposal.
Like when the triplets eat spinach ravioli. If you thinking hair in the drain is gross, try picking out spinach.

2. A dirty diaper can be the cause for a major celebration.
And it can change a baby's mood completely in an instant!

3. A shower can be a major accomplishment...for the week.
You earn superwoman status if you shave.

4. A hot meal would be a rare treat. 
Rarer still, a meal uninterrupted by request to "WI-I-I-PE."

5. Three hours of sleep could feel so good.
Or constitute a whole night's sleep...for which I was eternally grateful.

6. Goldfish have incredibly addictive properties.
Seriously, what do they put in those things? It's like kiddie crack. It's also one of mom's secret weapons for getting kids to cooperate.

7. I could accomplish so much with just one arm.
The list of things I've done while holding a baby is long. Cook? Check. Use the bathroom? Check. (Oh, you've done it, too.) Dress another child? Check. Laundry? Check. Clean? Well, only if I have to.

8. "Because I said so," is a perfectly legitimate answer.
It always sounded like a cop-out when I was a kid, but now I understand it. Now if only I could get my kids to understand, too.

9. That there were so many hours in the day.
And I had no idea that as "Mom," I often would be called upon to work nearly all of them. Even more surprising is that despite the long hours I still love the job.

10. That I could love someone so fiercely.
I have loved parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and one man in my life. But it wasn't until my first child was born that I realized just how fiercely I could love someone.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Mama's Losin' It

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Works-for-Me Wednesday: The Poop on Diapers

Sorry for the terrible pun in the headline. Well, not really, but it just feels right to apologize. Today I'm playing along on Works-for-Me Wednesday over at WeAreThatFamily.

I have always loved a good bargain, but a good bargain in diapers has become an absolute necessity now that we're covering three little bottoms. 

After extensive research, I've got two things that work for us to share with you.

The first diaper deal I love is Target's new Up & Up diapers. These are great diapers, and you can't beat the price. A package of 96 size 3s (our current size) is $13.96, or 14.5 cents per diaper. It is even cheaper if you get Target's Up & Up coupons. Compare that with a typical Huggies price of 22 cents apiece, or even Luvs at 16 cents apiece and it adds up fast around here.

Even with coupons and sales I can rarely beat the Up & Up price. And, the Up & Up diapers run big, so while my guys really need a size 4 in Huggies or Pampers, they can still wear a size 3 in Up & Ups. As any experienced diaper buyer knows, you get more value the smaller the size, because you get more per package. So that's a plus for us too.

Now I must confess that I tried the old Target brand diapers when they were on clearance because they were switching over to the new branding. I hated them. They were short, everyone peed out, and my guys got rashy. A fellow triplet mom convinced me to give the new Up & Up diapers a try, and what an improvement! Target really hit this one out of the park.

As a bonus, Target is running a stock-up sale right now online. If you buy three baby items you get 15% off. Buy four and get 15% off. You have to purchase $50 to get free shipping, but four large packs of Up & Up diapers will get you there. The sale is so good that my purchase worked out that I bought four packs of diapers for the price of three.

The second diaper deal I love is Actually, I love in general. We ordered three car seats from them and when they didn't fit well in our van, we returned them -- for free and with NO hassles. I simply called, said we needed to return the seats and the rep emailed me three labels, one for each box. They even called UPS to arrange the pickup. It could not have been easier. Talk about great customer service!

But on to the diapers, which is why we're here today. has pretty good sales and free shipping on orders over $49. If you're buying diapers for multiples, you know that $49 worth of diapers doesn't last long! Your diapers come to your door within two days, which is a real bonus in those early days when you can't even get a shower let alone get to the store. They will even take your coupons (details on the site).

First-time customers can get $10 off their order by entering the promo code: TRIPPIN at checkout. Right now you can get a real deal by printing and submitting a mail-in rebate within four weeks and you’ll get $14.97 back. (The rebate link looks like it’s only a free magazine subscription at first, but scroll down and you’ll read how you can actually just mail it in for a $14.97 check.) is a great way to send the most practical of gifts to your favorite mom of multiples or any other mama whose daily routine includes lots of diaper changes. It's fast and easy, and if you go through diapers they way we do, hitting the $49 minimum for free shipping is a piece of cake.

Disclaimers: I received nothing from Target or for this post. I am simply a happy customer.

The TRIPPIN promo code is my referral code from Anyone who orders from them can set one up. You will get $5 in credit for each person who uses your referral code. So if you use the code to save yourself $10 you'll be helping us out, too. I and my three little diaper-wearing bottoms thank you.
© Trippin' Mama 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Great Negotiator

Alex has always been one who knows what he wants and just takes it...away from his brothers, that is.

Of course, when we see this happen we intervene, telling him he needs to give the toy back and then "helping" him do that. If he keeps up the thievery, he goes into the crib for a quick timeout.

In the past week, Alex is trying a new technique. Instead of just taking what he wants, he'll bring another toy over to offer in trade. If the first toy doesn't work, he'll often try again. If that doesn't work, he'll go back to his old ways and just rip the desired object out of his brother's hands. But watching him negotiate to get what he wants is both fascinating and a little bit worrisome.

He's only 16 months old and he's already making deals? Yikes!

I have visions of him in the future: "Hey, buddy. Wanna buy a used car?"

I'll try to get Alex's negotiation skills on video. It really is fun to watch him try to make a deal.

© Trippin' Mama 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

To Cut Or Not to Cut?

This is Sam.

When Sam was born we all said, "I hope he keeps that red hair."

Boy, has he! He's never been anything other than red.

And then suddenly one day his hair started to curl.

 And curl some more!

Now he's got shocks and shocks of red, curly hair.

His godfather thinks it's time for a haircut.

His Grandma Alice says not until she sees him at the beginning of April.

I don't dare go against Grandma Alice.

Which is good, because it will let me hang onto these baby curls just a little while longer.

© Trippin' Mama 2010