Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It Wasn't Quite a Trio...

The boys had their first Sunday school Christmas program this year. It was just a few simple songs, and the three of them have staunchly refused to sing any of the songs for me, "because it's a surprise."

As it turned out, only one of them sang anyway.


The kids sang about five songs. Alex sang or followed the motions to all of them. Isaac did some of the motions, but never sang a word. And Sam kept his hands on his hips and a scowl on his face the entire time.
And the teacher did end up sitting on stage behind my little angels, for fear that Isaac would either jump off the stage or push Sam off. Sounds about right!
I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

How Elf on a Shelf Put Me on Santa's Naughty List

Our Elf on a Shelf, Gus, has been having a little fun around here lately. This morning we caught him fishing in the potty. 

But generally, Gus is a pretty staid guy, moving from shelf to light fixture to mantel.

That's because Gus doesn't come with an app that reminds mom and dad to move him every night, and it's hard to be creative when you're running down the hall ahead of the children at 5:30 a.m. 

For children, the elf is supposed to inspire good behavior in that time-tested, creepy tradition of "Santa's watching you." Only now the invisible Santa, the one peeking through the window that you're never fast enough to see as a child, has been traded out for a scrawny elf with a slightly maniacal grin who peers down at the children from his perch of the day.

I don't know that our elf is helping my children make Santa's nice list, but he is certainly putting the hubs and me on the naughty list.

First there's the cursing over forgetting to move the elf, followed by the hissing at each other to decide who has to get out of bed to move the little fellow. Then there's the lying to the children about why Gus didn't move: "I guess he was too tired last night, honey." "He didn't want to tell Santa about your naughty day yesterday, so he didn't check in last night." Then there's the temptation to spend time setting the elf up in scenarios that are not appropriate for the children, like those involving Barbie and a bottle of bourbon.

And don't even get me started on the elf-inspired guilt trip. The elf book says the children can't touch him or he'll lose his magic. It also should say that the children can't compare notes with other children at school about what their elves are doing. That would save me a lot of grief.

Yes, honey, your elf is not nearly as cool or fun as your friend's elf. Wrap up that pile of mommy guilt and put it under the tree. Merry Christmas, Mom!  

With just a week to go until Christmas I'm running out of time and energy to deal with our elf, and I'm seriously considering putting a cast on one of his legs as an excuse not to move him for a couple of nights. "Elves heal fast, but he can't fly for a couple of days, kids." I'm sure they'd buy that.

Just when I'm starting to wonder if this behavior modification tool (which doesn't seem to be having much impact around here) is worth it, the kids squeal in delight at finding Gus in the freezer. Not eating ice cream or making snowballs or any of those creative Pinterest ideas -- just sitting there.

And there's just enough magic in that to make me grumble my way out of bed at midnight to jam him in the blender for the kids to find the next morning.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I Found It!

Grandma Alice and Grandpa Ernie were here for a weekend earlier this month, but Grandma Alice caught cold and lost her voice so they left early.

A couple of days later my mom sent the kids an email:

Amelia, Alex, Isaac and Sam,   

I lost something when I was at your house. If you find my voice hiding there somewhere send it my way. Grandpa is getting tired of answering the phone. Maybe Gus can help.  

Love, Grandma Alice

I read the email to the kids over breakfast the next morning, and Isaac leaped up and ran down the hallway. He started yelling, "I found Grandma's voice!" He had the recordable book that Grandma Alice read for the kids last Christmas. More four-year-old genius! So we emailed Grandma Alice back:

Dear Grandma Alice,

Mom read us your note. Isaac found your voice in the book you recorded. We don't know how to get your voice out of the book and back to you, but we asked Gus to help so hopefully he will bring it to you on his way to the North Pole.


Amelia, Sam, Isaac and Alex
Grandma Alice does now have her voice back, so I guess Gus knew how to get it out of the book and back to her.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What's Better Than Bubble Wrap?

This goes back to the boys' birthday, but they had so much fun with this I'm seriously considering giving them a box full of bubble wrap for Christmas!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Look Who Dropped In

Our elf Gus just dropped in for the Christmas season.

OK, the picture is awful, but better than nothing, right? Yeah, let's just go with that. 

I can't wait for the kids to find him tomorrow morning!

Before I crafted Gus's parachute this evening, I hacked our elf. I added some 12-gauge floral wire to each arm and leg. Just snip a couple stitches, slip the wire in and don't forget to coil the ends in the hands and feet so they don't poke back out. Then stitch your elf back up and add a little Velcro to each hand. It will be much easier for him to hang, grab, sit, perch, bathe, swim, or pose any way you can dream up.

Unfortunately, it won't make it any easier for the parents to remember to move the elf every night!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Halloween Picture!

Thanks to my friend Ellen, we DO have a photo of the kids in their Halloween costumes.

And based on the fact that all four children are standing and most of them are looking at the camera, I should hire her to take our Christmas photo. 
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Friday Photo Frenzy

I did just one thing on Black Friday. I roped the WBH into taking the kids to JC Penney to have their photos taken. I was lured in by the $150 CD of all of our session photos for $50.

We had an appointment, so no lines and no crowds -- well, except for the one that we brought. And they were not particularly well behaved.

The poor photographer just wanted the kids to stand in a line from tallest to shortest with their hands on each other's waists. It was a simple request.

However, the boys suddenly developed an inability to stand. Every time the photographer had them about set up one would yell, "Whoa, whoa, whooooaaa!" and fall to the floor. The other two would immediately pile on.

We tried bribery and coaxing to no avail.

I finally turned to the photographer and asked if she thought they'd do better if Jeff and I stepped out of the studio. She looked at me with sheer terror in her eyes.

Yeah, I get that. I feel that way too, sometimes.

In the end we were drenched with sweat from the struggle and the exasperation, and we got two usable group shots and some semi-usable individual shots.

Those of you who get a Christmas card from me better appreciate the effort that went into getting that group photo!

I think it would have been easier to rush the doors of Wal-Mart at midnight with the crowds. 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Run, Run As Fast As You Can...

As I'm catching up here, the next logical post is Halloween.

To be honest, I didn't get a single decent picture of the kids. And since I was working on a political campaign, we just took the kids to Target a couple weeks before Halloween and gave them all $20 to pick something out. No creativity, no homemade costumes, no family theme. Just a little overworked Mommy desperation.

The kids loved it.

We had two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Sam and Alex), a Spiderman (Isaac), and a fairy (Amelia) who nearly got frostbitten in the cold!

On Halloween the kids and I were in the van and they started talking excitedly about how it was almost Christmas. Really? We have to start talking about Christmas on Halloween? Are you being raised by a major retailer?

Sam started talking about how it was almost Christmas and then we'd get to make "gingerbread mans!" Pretty soon everyone was talking about how they would decorate with raisins and cinnamon drops.

Then Sam said, "And then you can put him in the oven and when he comes out I'm going to gobble him up!"

I said, "What if we open the oven and he leaps up and runs away like in the Gingerbread Man book?"

The van got completely quiet. Then Alex piped up, "Let's make them without feet!"

Genius. Pure genius.

Later Isaac suggested we could make them without eyes so they would run into the wall and couldn't get away.

So watch for a few batches of maimed, blind gingerbread men to come out of my kitchen this season. They may not make Martha Stewart's top ten list, but in this house those guys will be a real hit!
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Trio Turns FABULOUS Four (A Belated Post)

Well, that was quite a hiatus, wasn't it? I'm finally getting around to posting about Sam, Isaac and Alex's fourth birthday waaay back in October. October 8, to be exact.

We celebrated the day before with a train ride out to the pumpkin patch, just like last year. It was the boys' request. The difference is that last year is was about 70 degrees, and this year it was about 40 degrees. We didn't stick around long!

We came home for cake and presents with friends, and everyone had a fabulous time. Just look at these happy birthday faces!

Happy four years old!



Spiderman shirts, Batman action figures and Hot Wheels were the order of the day. And now we've got three four-year-olds on our hands. They are ever-energetic, riotously loud, can rival professional wrestling, and ask questions nearly nonstop. They can be very protective of each other, and sometimes even of their sister. They are oh-so-sweet and such stinkers, sometimes in the blink of an eye.  
Who knows what four will hold for all of us? I can't wait to find out!  

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

There Was Blood

Three kids down, one to go. I had to take Amelia to the emergency room last evening.

Jeff and I went out for a date afternoon, and as we were pulling into the neighborhood the babysitter called. Amelia had smacked her forehead on a chair, and like any head wound, it was bleeding pretty good. The blood wasn't the problem. The sitter had that emergency well in hand. But the three boys freaking out over all the blood was a little frazzling -- even when there were three of us there!

I asked Amelia what happened, and she said, "I wasn't looking where I was going and I just ran into the chair."

And hit it just wrong, apparently. Ouch! There was a trail of blood through the kitchen, across the playroom and down the hall to the bathroom. Seriously, head wounds are the worst when it comes to that!

I took one look at the cut and knew we were headed for stitches. That perfect little oval gap was not going to close nicely on its own!

Once the bleeding stopped, I loaded Amelia up in the van and headed for the ER.

On the way there we had this conversation:

Amelia: Mom, you'd better call my school.

Me: Oh, honey, I think you'll be fine to go to school tomorrow.

Amelia: No, you need to call them about the blood drive, because I might need some blood.

Me: Sweetheart, I promise you that you didn't bleed enough to need more blood. And if you did, I would give you some of my blood.

Amelia: I don't want your blood! It would make me sicker!

Apparently she was listening when I told her I couldn't give blood at the school blood drive because they won't take my blood thanks to the year plus I lived in England and the risk of mad cow disease.

In the end she got three "string band-aids" and no transfusion. Amelia walked out of the ER with a My Little Pony Hot Air Balloon set, which she said was totally worth the boo-boo.  
Since it cost us $200 just to walk through the doors of the ER, that's now the most expensive toy in the house.  
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Holy Cow!

Whew! Almost a month since I lasted posted! I can hardly believe that. (I must confess, it's been nice to give myself a bit of a break, but I miss connecting with all of you, too.)

Nothing big has happened here, unless you count Isaac, Alex and Amelia learning how to go across the monkey bars by themselves. I know my back is grateful!

But there have been lots of little things happening every day, and as the saying goes: "The little things are the big things."

We rounded out our summer of fun with a couple of trips to the ever-popular State Fair. The kids absolutely love it there! We love that there are lots of free activities, as long as we stay far away from the rides.

It was a little tricky to feed Sam there. Thank heavens for steak sandwiches and cotton candy!

Speaking of Sam, last week he ate a piece of wheat bread with peanut butter on it, breaking many, many eating rules -- no wheat, no dairy, no peanut butter. Yikes! We gave him Benadryl as a precaution for the next couple of nights to ease any itchy outbreaks, but he was actually fine. He did say he itched, but his skin didn't break out like it has in the past. Maybe, just maybe, we're getting somewhere on eliminating some of his food sensitivities? I certainly hope so.

Amelia is one month into first grade now, and loving it. The other day as we were waiting for the school bus we had this conversation.

Amelia: Mom, I have to work out my arm muscles.

Me: Why?

A: Because there's this tough boy on the bus named Rowan.

Me: Is he picking on you? (I was very concerned!)

A: No, he's teaching me to arm wrestle! Me: (Mentally I'm saying, "OK, that's not what I was expecting!")

A: And I want to win! So I have to work out my arm muscles!

Me: OK, let's do it!

She popped bubbles with her strong arms for the next five minutes. I'm not sure it did her any good, but she sure made it look like a major workout!

Isaac has turned into a fish. He's been swimming underwater in the bathtub and even opening his eyes underwater. Some days he has more than one bath just so her can "practice, Mom!" I have to get all of them in swimming lessons to take advantage of this love of the water!

Alex had a great time in t-ball. We did a little parent-child class with the boys, and Amelia was the coach's helper. (God love the coach for happily asking Amelia to fill that role!) But Alex was the most interested in learning to throw and follow the rules of the game. And man, can he hit! You'd better stand back and have your eyes open when that kid steps up to the plate.

The biggest change is that we dropped the nap as of last weekend. It was time. There were far too many 9:30 and 10 p.m. nights when the boys were still awake, even with a shortened nap. We're still a bit borderline on giving it up. Some days I insist they rest, knowing someone will get a short nap, which is desperately needed. I suppose it's time, since they will be four -- FOUR -- in a month. That is seriously unbelievable to me!

Outside of that, work is crazy and the house generally teeters between near disaster and complete disaster. But we eat together most nights, read lots of books, and always have time for bedtime prayers and snuggles, so I guess we're getting by.

I'm using this long weekend to do an unholy amount of laundry and housework, and hoping that will get us through until November. I've been trying to pull some homeschool lessons together and do some cooking, too.

But we haven't forgotten to have a little fun! We went to the childrens' museum today, and tomorrow or Monday I think we'll go bowling. Today I tried to answer my kids' calls to do something all day -- stopping to make forts, read books and more books, paint, and get in some tickles, too. It made the laundry take twice as long (and I'm still not done), but I know they need me even more than they need clean clothes to wear. That's probably especially true since two of the boys spent all afternoon in only their underwear!

We did have a potluck with friends recently, and I used the bounty from my garden to make a delicious cucumber and tomato salad. I'll try to post the recipe soon. It was so good, especially the heirloom tomatoes. I would love to plant all heirlooms next year, but they don't produce as many tomatoes, and I need six pounds to make a batch of cream of tomato soup, so I need some plants that are a bit prolific.  Maybe next year we'll get the chance to add another raised bed or two so I'll have more space. I think I have  a few neighbors who would love that, as they get all my extras!

Next weekend is the annual mom and sisters' get together, and I'm hosting this year. (Yeah, because I needed one more thing to do!) It will be a blast though, as always, and I've got a few surprises in store for the ladies! More later!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Amelia's Gap-Toothed Grin

Last week on Friday, Amelia finally lost her first tooth. It's been loose for more than a month and wiggled so much the night before she lost it that it was bothering her. I was a little worried she would lose it at night and swallow it! 

The next morning, Amelia was sitting on the potty wiggling the tooth with her tongue when all of a sudden it popped out. This led Isaac to conclude that if you try too hard to poop your loose tooth will fall out. Um, no. I'm still trying to correct that a week later. 

Here's the cutest gap-toothed six-year-old girl telling all about how she lost her very first tooth!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Funny Things They Say

We all learned a lot when we went camping.

For example, Alex was our chief navigator. (Seriously, the kid can give you directions to the places we go on a regular basis, and he is always asking what street we're on.) We got a map of the campground and Alex would check it out and tell us where to go.

He would say, "Recording to the map..." It made us laugh every time.

Then Isaac discovered his new favorite food.

"Mom, can I have more of those yummy tomato chips?" Sure, buddy. And that's so gosh darned cute that I won't even correct you and tell you they are potato chips.

And Sam still says his bedtime prayer as " goom God's love" instead of " whom God's love."

It will be a sad day when they quit making such adorable mistakes. So no correcting the kids!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life's Jar

Some of you may have heard about or even seen someone demonstrate how to prioritize your life using a large glass jar.

You take an empty jar, which represents your life, your time, and your energy. Then you add some large rocks. These rocks represent the most important things in your life -- family, faith, job -- whatever you choose. But when your jar is full of large rocks, it isn't full. There's room for pebbles. These things are still important -- chatting with friends, volunteer work, hobbies -- again, the choices are up to you.

By now your jar looks pretty full, right? Wrong. Now comes the sand. The sand sifts in and fits around the large rocks and pebbles. The sand is all the daily things that have to be done -- grocery shopping, paying the bills, house cleaning -- things that are necessary, but not necessarily any kind of priority.

Guess what? Your jar still isn't full. It's time to add water. The water represents the things people do not to face the rocks or pebbles or life in general. Maybe it's using your kids as an excuse not to do things, or maybe it's spending time anonymously online instead of building relationships. The water, which flows around all the other priorities and must-do items in our life, fills our time to the brim even though the things it represents are not priorities in any way.

Over time large rocks may become pebbles. Pebbles may become sand or they may become large rocks. Priorities shift. Things change.

I have certainly found this to be true in my life. Almost four years ago my family rock grew to take up a lot more space in my jar, and this blog became a large rock for me. But now I find my priorities shifting again.

This blog, which I started as a creative outlet and to serve as my kids' baby book, is becoming a smaller rock. It's not a pebble, at least not in my heart, but I don't have the time and energy for it that I once did.

Since I started working and I'm writing every day, I don't need the same creative outlet for my writing. And, those hours at work mean I have less time with my family, which is a BIG rock I won't compromise on. That means something else in my jar has to shift to make room for a work rock. As a result, this blog rock has gotten a lot smaller in the last few weeks.

I'll still be checking in here from time to time, but until my job ends in November, I'm not making any promises about how often. I'm trying to be forgiving of myself and accept that I can't do it all and do it all well. It's OK to let go of something, even something that was once as important to me as this blog.

This was a lifeline for me in the early days. It was a place I connected with other moms of multiples. It was and is a record of our life as a family. It's a photo album, our home movies and the stories that will become our family lore all rolled into one.

None of that will change.

I'm not closing things down here. I just want to explain that while Trippin' is still important to me, priorities have shifted, and you won't find me here quite so regularly. Instead of an almost daily column, my posts here will be more like an occasional letter you get in the mail from a friend -- a pleasant surprise for you to sit down and savor.

I promise I will still be here sharing funny stories and daily frustrations. It just won't be quite so often, at least until November.

If you're a regular reader, thanks for cheering me on through the early years of life with triplets plus one. I hope you'll keep stopping by.

Thanks for understanding.


© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fun in Photos

There's been a real dry spell around here lately, both weather-wise and blog-wise. But there's been no shortage of fun!

First, there was the trip to the amusement park. Bumper boats were a big hit!

Then we built a "kid wash" after getting the idea from Pinterest. The kids loved that, too, though we can't use it now that we're under a watering ban.

We all enjoyed camping and fishing, especially since we only put bobbers and weights on the boys' poles, conveniently forgetting the hooks. True, they couldn't catch anything, but the safety of others outweighed the need to actually fish. Besides, they never realized it anyway.

We were on to more camping, this time with the grandparents, in 104-degree heat. Thankfully the horrible temps only lasted a day, and we were able to beat the heat in the campground pool.

We got in a little golf, too. A purse is the perfect golfing accessory, you know!

We fed the giraffes at the zoo, too.

And our water bugs really loved the beach!

It's been a great summer so far, and it's not over yet!

So if you check in with us to find that we're not here, we're probably out there having more fun. Hope you're finding lots of opportunities to close your computer and get out there and have fun, too!
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012


We had a great camping trip with Grandma and Grandpa D. and Uncle Jacob last weekend. Well, except for the first day when it was 104 degrees. No joke. It's like we were camping in Satan's armpit.

Anyway, one of the things we did was visit a great zoo in the area. The grandparents bought each of the kiddos something from the zoo store on the way out.

Isaac picked a 3 1/2 foot stuffed snake. It's as big as he is!

He's been dragging "Snakey Snake" around for a few days now, and he's taking him to bed at night.

Well, early yesterday morning Isaac came to our bed looking for some "extra mommy snuggles." He climbed in, and unbeknowst to me, he brought his snake.

When I rolled over and opened my eyes a good hour later I came face to face with that blasted snake. It scared me so badly I nearly wet the bed!

Kids in my bed is one thing. Snakes? No way!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Too Busy Having Fun!

Hmmm, looks like I took a little summer vacation from the blog there! We've been so busy having summer fun that I haven't found time to post.

It's been horribly hot, and our inflatable pool has given up the ghost. I'm too cheap to buy another one, since we're almost past that stage anyway. So we built a "kid wash" (i.e. a big sprinkler made of PVC pipe) that the kids can ride their bikes right through. Thanks to Pinterest for that idea. I'll post pictures of the kids enjoying that soon.

The rest of last week was taken up with packing for camping. We're talking real camping here. TENT camping. It's a story of weather and fun. But then isn't every camping trip a story of weather?

Throw in a late evening of catching fireflies, and another camping trip coming up this weekend, and we're squeezing everything out of the summer that we can!

Watch for lots of pictures to come!
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big Conversations with Little People

The boys are fast approaching four (four!), and they have a LOT to say these days. Believe me, you haven't really lived until you have three little people telling you knock-knock jokes that don't make any sense and aren't funny. (But you laugh anyway, because the thought that goes into telling them and the intesity with which they are told merits a laugh.)

Every day I have some big conversation with one of my little people. The kind of conversation where they get right in your face and share some big revelation or idea or anything.

I love that!

Sam regularly says, "I'm going to tell you something." And then he does. Isaac is so intense that I have a hard time keeping a straight face even when he's serious. And Alex demands to be heard, yelling at his siblings to be quiet and getting louder and louder until we respond to him.

Tonight I had this very big conversation with Alex.

Alex: When I get big I'm going to work in Mommy's office.

Me: What will you do in Mommy's office?

Alex: (delivered without taking a breath) I will talk on the phone and they will pay me money and then I can go ride Sandy and put my own money in anytime I want!

Holy cow! He's three and he's got it figured out: Get a job, make your own money and spend it how you want. Parenting mission accomplished.

P.S.: Sandy is the mechanical horse at the local grocery store and the children's museum. It costs a nickel to ride.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mom My Ride

These days we have to keep the cars locked or the boys will invade them. They can open the doors, including the sliding doors on the van. They like to "ride" on those doors by hanging from the handle as the door slides open. And yes, they've been in trouble for that more than once!

A couple weeks ago the boys got into the van and pulled out the spray sunscreen. They know how to use that, too. Let's just say there should be no UV damage to the dashboard or passenger seat in that vehicle.

Ironically, this happened just a couple of days after a friend sent me this video called, "Mom My Ride." She ran across it after her husband spent an entire day cleaning the goldfish and unidentified stickiness out of their van. We laughed and laughed at it.

I dedicate this to all parents out there driving a minivan that smells like sunscreen and has enough goldfish in the seats to feed a family of six for a month.

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© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

From the Peanut Gallery

I wore this to work today:

When I came out to the kitchen Isaac looked up from the breakfast table and said, "I really like your zebra costume, Mom!"

It's always good to start your day off with a laugh!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Flying Wallendas

The other day I looked out the kitchen window and saw that the Flying Wallendas had taken over my yard. The danger appeared minimal, so I just got out my camera to record the craziness here for all posterity.

I give you the Flying Wallendas - Triplet Style!

It's amazing we've only had one broken bone and one kid get far!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012


The other morning Jeff got up with our early birds at 6 a.m and let me sleep in a bit. They were all hanging out watching cartoons, and Jeff didn't have a shirt on. Alex came over and pointed at his chest.

"What's that, Daddy?" he asked.

"It's my nipple, buddy," Jeff replied.

"A nickel!?" Alex said.

Jeff started to laugh and before he could answer, Isaac pulled up his shirt, pointed to his own nipple and asked, "Is this a penny?"

Because a penny is smaller than a nickel, you know.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

We Made A Splash!

I was doing pretty well posting this week, wasn't I? Sorry I had to miss yesterday. Amelia won four tickets to a nearby water park and Jeff and I were able to get off work, so we were there ALL, ALL day. Seriously. We left the house at 8 a.m. and returned home at 1 a.m. this morning.

We had a blast. The weather was perfect. The park wasn't crowded, and the kids did great. Lots of walking, lots of water, lots of rides and very little whining.

Sam, Isaac, Alex and Amelia are still smiling at the end of a very long, very fun day!

We took the kiddos on a family water slide where you ride up to five people in an inner tube. We split up two and two. I took Sam and Isaac. Jeff took Amelia and Alex. Only one kid really liked it: Isaac! (No surprise there!)

Sam did pretty well. He was pretending the inner tube was a horse and after we hit the second little drop and went around the corner he was yelling, "Slow this dang horsie down!"

Isaac just laughed and grinned the whole time. Later I took him and Alex, and I laughed at the contrast between the two. The look on Isaac's face was sheer delight. The look on Alex's was borderline terror. He was trying to like it, but didn't really.

After we left Alex with Daddy, Isaac and I rode again. As we stood near the top waiting for our turn Isaac kept pointing out other slides he wanted to ride. Unfortunately most of what he picked he was too little to ride. (And most of them I didn't want to ride with him, either! I'm kind of a wuss about slides and rides.)

"That's not fair!" Isaac wailed. I had to chuckle. In no time he'll be big enough to ride everything in the park.

The problem is, none of his siblings will want to go with him!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Who Needs The Guilt?

I'm a very infrequent poster on Facebook, and the other day I saw a comment that reminded me exactly why.

Someone posted about a fun outing with their kiddos, and one of the comments was "Where was my invite? :( "

Really? You can't read that post and think, "That sounds like fun!" Maybe pick up the phone and call your friend and say, "Hey, that sounded like a blast! Let's go together sometime!"?

Nope. Go right for the guilt trip.

I see this all the time. Someone posts about a girls' night out or a weekend trip with friends or even a date night with the hubby and the guilt just starts pouring in.

I find this really sad. Why can't we celebrate each other's joy and fun instead of crashing the party with a guilt trip?

Life is a whole lot better when you are cheering others on instead of tearing them down. Now that's a life lesson for all of us.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: Horsin' Around

Amelia spent last week at Horse Camp. She loved everything about it, even going on a "poop hunt," when it was time to clean up the arena and the stalls.'

I loved watching her handle herself around the horses. Even though they towered over her, she was so at ease with them. She brushed them, washed them, braided their manes and tails, and cleaned their hooves. And she never batted an eyelash.

And I love, love, love this series of photos!

Amelia shows off her friend, EJ.

So cute together!


Now Amelia is even crazier about horses. A week at Horse Camp didn't scratch her itch. It just put an even bigger burr under her saddle!

Play along with Wordful Wednesday over at Seven Clown Circus.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Head Over Hooves

Amelia spent all last week at Horse Camp. She's wanted to ride "forever," and she loved it. Well, she told me she cried a couple times when she didn't get the horse she wanted to ride. But still she loved "the whole, whole thing," including scooping poop and cleaning stalls.

You go, girl! 

I watched her lead her horse out of the stall and then climb into the saddle. It was one of those moments when you ponder how your child can be so little and so big all at the same time.

Amelia had no complaints at all about the week. I had just two. First, I could have done without the craft that led to her bringing home two metal horseshoes covered in glitter, and second, I can see the dollars going out of my pocket on this one!

I have lots of great pictures I'll try to post tomorrow for Wordful Wednesday.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Are You Dancing?

On Sunday Isaac and Alex both decided to come to church with us. Isaac changed his mind the minute we walked in, and Alex followed him to the nursery shortly after. I won't lie. I do enjoy a child-free Mass now and then!

As I was sitting there, suddenly a memory flitted in.

We were at church one morning and Amelia was maybe two or so. The music started playing and she got off the pew and started to dance. As she twirled in place and moved to the music Jeff and I smiled. Then we noticed all of the people around us beginning to smile, too.

It would have been nearly impossible not to be delighted by Amelia's pure joy.

As I remembered that and reflected on it Sunday, I thought about that moment. Amelia was just being a child. She was spontaneous and not concerned about those around her and what they thought.

Sometimes it is so hard to let our kids be kids. We let our expectations of them, our needs and wants get in the way. We forget what it is to be inspired to dance, to need to wrestle, to be so excited about everything we want to say that we have to shout it instead of say it.

On days when I find myself asking my kids to hurry up, to settle down, to be quiet, to stand still, I need to stop and remember that they are kids. Soon enough they will rush by me on the way to the next thing, they won't wrestle with me on the rug or want to tell me their every thought.

Our days certainly aren't perfect, but they are good, very good. Because we have a house full of kids who burst into song, break out in giggles and leap up to dance.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Kindergartener No More

Yesterday was Amelia's last day of kindergarten. The year has just flown by!

I managed to stop her for two seconds to snap her picture before she ran to the bus. (You can see her pajama-clad brothers in the background escorting her to the bus stop.)

The pictures tell the tale. She's definitely not the little kindergartner she was last August.

She's turned into a first-grader!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Light It Up, Baby!

We don't have lots of extra time on our hands around here these days. Well, really, ever since the triplets were born. So outside of the daily care of our tribe, there are lots of things that don't get done until they reach critical status.

I no longer shop just to browse or because it's my usual time to go to the grocery store. I shop because the boys have no underwear that fit. Or Amelia forgot to tell me she needs 36 store-bought cookies for school. Or because my family will not tolerate another meal pieced together from odds and ends. I shop because we truly NEED something.

It used to be that Jeff and I would take care of the little things as they came up: resubscribing to the newspaper, fixing a broken item, changing a light bulb. Not anymore.

In fact, you can pretty much tell how our lives are going by the number of burned out light bulbs we have in our house at any given time. And it's not because we don't have light bulbs in the house. It's just not urgent enough to demand our attention.

Until whole rooms go dark.

Honestly, the problem has gotten so bad that I'm shocked to flip a light switch and see all bulbs burning.

A week ago I took the kids out somewhere and Jeff stayed home to change light bulbs. It wasn't a scam, people! We seriously had so many bulbs burned out that he spent more than a half hour replacing all of them. And we live in a little three-bedroom ranch!

On the plus side, I've spent an entire week being pleasantly surprised when I turn on the lights and the actually come on. I sure am easy to please these days.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Beating Back The Toy Tide

In between the parade, a great morning of hiking and getting the tomatoes and peppers in the garden, Jeff and I have spent the better part of the holiday weekend cleaning out the kids toys.

And by cleaning out, I mean collecting all the random pieces and scattered parts and putting everything back together again. EVERYTHING.

All I can say is: Holy crap! God save me from all those little pieces and parts.

And Amelia's toys are the worst. She helped me sort through things. Now we've got a box of Barbies, a box of My Little Ponies, and six little drawers of Barbie shoes, accessories, etc... I was going to label all of the drawers, but I couldn't think of a child-appropriate way to write "Little $#^&."

We pulled out bags of stuff to donate and bags of stuff to throw, and celebrated not-so-little victories like finding 25 of 26 magnetic alphabet letters. 

One evening we'll have the kids go through things and choose some more to donate, too. Because really, do three little boys need more than 60 cars? I don't think so. And that's AFTER I already threw/donated some of them.

Now we're going to get tough on the kids when it comes to picking things up and putting them back together where they belong. 

Because I won't be doing this again anytime soon. Next time I'll just sweep it all into a big bag and give it all away.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, May 27, 2012

We Love A Parade

We took the kids to a parade this weekend. Bands, floats, balloons, horses, cool cars...what's not to love?

It was hot, but the kids didn't seem to mind. They were too busy watching the excitement unfold. They did a great job, too, staying in their seats and staying behind the blue line so they wouldn't get in the way of the parade.

Later we talked about their favorite parts. Amelia liked the cheerleaders and the horses. Isaac liked the motorcycles and the "cool cars." Alex liked the "whole, whole thing." And Sam said he liked the marching bands, though he covered his ears every time one went by.

Afterwards we had cotton candy. Now that's how to celebrate!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Corn Is Cooler Than Your Corn

Ages ago I read about using a cooler to cook corn on the cob for a crowd. You put your shucked, cleaned corn in a clean cooler and pour in a big pot of boiling water. Put the lid on and leave it for 30 minutes and, in theory, you get perfectly cooked corn.

I filed the technique away mentally, but I always pulled out the big kettle and just boiled my corn on the stovetop.

Until last weekend.

My folks were here and I bought a dozen ears of sweet corn. I didn't want to hassle with boiling it in two batches, so I pulled out the cooler and tried out the cooler method.

I was a little skeptical, but I figured I could always finish it on the stove. So into the cooler went the corn and the boiling water. Thirty minutes later we had perfectly cooked sweet corn. As a bonus, the leftover ears stayed nice and hot for those who wanted seconds.

It was so easy that I vowed to never cook corn on the stove again. Even if I just have a couple of ears, I'll just use a smaller cooler.

Here's a recap of the technique:

Cooler Corn
Shuck and desilk your corn on the cob. Place it in a clean cooler. Pour in a large pot of boiling water and close the lid. (I don't think the water even entirely covered all of my corn.) Wait 30 minutes and your corn will be perfectly done.

Butter it up and enjoy!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Forty Dirty Toes

Tonight there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth in my house as I forced four children to take a bath. They would have rather stayed outside since the weather is beautiful. But, they have forgotten how to wear shoes, and I can only ignore black feet for so long.

They were so dirty tonight that they left a ring in the bathtub. Dirty feet, sandy hair, chalk-covered hands, and chocolatey faces added up to one more cleaning job for me after the kids came out of the tub all squeaky clean.

On nights when I don't get them in the bath, which is more often than I care to admit, I try to pretend their little toes aren't black. Otherwise I get the heebie jeebies about their sheets, and washing all of those is no small task either.

On the plus side, if it's true that kids who are exposed to dirt are healthier than those who aren't, my kids shouldn't need to see a doctor until they are about 40.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Sweet Amelia!

Today is Amelia's birthday. We've been busy celebrating! There was the birthday party on Saturday and tonight we had a special birthday meal.

Amelia picked the menu: mashed potatoes (that's my girl!), corn on the cob, homemade tomato soup and chicken. Actually, she wasn't interested in the chicken, but I convinced her to let me add it so her Daddy would be happy!

So now she is six.

Every parent says it, but it's so hard to believe how fast they grow.

One minute she was a baby, and the next minute she was a six-year-old super hero.

Super Amelia takes to the course.

And her brothers are growing up faster than the speed of light right behind her!

Superman Sam, Batman Alex, and Spiderman Isaac show off their muscles.

Amelia helped make her Batgirl cake with plenty of sprinkles. After all, what's a birthday without sprinkles! Sam had flourless chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow creme. Actually, a lot of the kids chose those, and they must have been good because they were all gone.

Amelia, her friends, and her brothers wait to blow out the candles on the cake.

Happy birthday, baby girl. You brought lots of laughter and happy tears to our world. Mama and Daddy love you very much.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's Going to Be a Super Party

Heaven knows that Amelia exerts a little influence over her brothers, what with the dressing up as princesses, pretending to be sisters and taking ballet together.

But the boys influence her, too.

She has asked to have a super hero birthday party, complete with costumes.

Amelia also asked for a cake shaped like her as a super hero flying through the sky, "with my pink cape!"

Um, yeah. I don't think so.

A princess tiara cake I can pull off. Amelia as a super hero, well that would require me to magically get some super hero powers I don't currently possess. And I don't see any radioactive bakers around here.

So I suggested cupcakes with the Bat Signal on them, and she was all for it. I want to do cupcakes, not only because they are easy, but also because it will be easier to make a small batch of wheat-free, soy-free, dairy-free cupcakes so we have a few Sam-friendly treats.

As a result, Jeff and I spent two hours tonight rolling Laffy Taffy out flat and cutting Bat Signals out of them. And we're only half done.

The things we'll do for our kids!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy "Mudders" Day

This afternoon we went on a creek stomp with friends. It was part early birthday celebration for Amelia, part Mother's Day celebration. We had a blast!

Mom with Sam, Isaac and Alex 

Amelia and Mom 

All of the kids stomped right in. We caught lots of water striders and saw minnows that were too small to catch. But the big excitement came when Isaac was just using his net to scoop up mud.

Suddenly he yelled, "Mom! I caught a dinosaur!"

I laughed, "I don't think so, buddy."

Then I looked and he had a crayfish in his net. So it wasn't exactly a dinosaur, but definitely a catch!

Check out the crayfish in Isaac's net! 

Amelia, Sam, Alex and Isaac take a close look at the crayfish.
Alex was very concerned that no one get too close so they wouldn't get pinched!

Of course for every story there is to tell, there's back story...

Hope you had a happy "Mudders" Day, too!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy Almost Mother's Day

We kicked off Mother's Day weekend with a little time in the backyard this evening.

I divided my time between weeding some horribly overgrown garden beds and pushing naked boys on the swings.

That's how every mom celebrates, right?

I enjoy my time in the garden, but I haven't spent enough time out there in the last month. And I had some giant weeds to show for it! Thanks to a massive effort by Jeff, the World's Best Husband, nearly all of the weeding got done this evening.

And I have missed pushing my boys on the swings. For as mind-numbing and physically exhausting as that can sometimes be, it has become part of my daily routine and now that it's not, I do miss it.

I'm looking forward to spending time reading to my kids, playing in the yard, and a fun family outing on Sunday that will be partly for Mother's Day and partly an early birthday celebration for Amelia this weekend.

Be sure to remember the moms in your life this weekend!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Gwonwn Up"

I don't know why so many Sam videos lately. I guess he's just talking up a storm and more willing to sit still than the other two!

Here is Sam's latest discourse on being "gwown" up.

Sorry, Sam, but you'll have to stay my little boy for a while longer!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Whirlwind Trip

Whew! I took a quick trip this weekend to help a college friend celebrate his birthday. It was great fun, and totally worth the 13 hours of driving.

I hit some bad weather on the way and could actually say I went through hail and high water to be there.

But on the way back, the weather was just plain scary.

On one side of the highway blue skies and puffy white clouds. On the other, ugliness.

I was listening to the radio, trying to figure out what county I was driving through and generally hightailing it to the nearest town along with everyone else on the road. Then suddenly we ran smack into a dirt storm.

I grew up with blizzards and whiteout conditions. This was pretty much the same thing, only black. I couldn't see the car in front of me, and I was praying the guy behind me wouldn't hit me.

I caught a break when I came up to an overpass and it provided enough break in the blackout conditions for me to safely pull off the road. Then the dirt and wind roared over the car. The dirt was running across the windshield and I couldn't even see the hood of my car.

The the car started to rock back and forth.

I started to shake.

I can honestly say I've never been so scared in my life, and that includes when I was told I was pregnant with triplets, the time I was mugged, and the wind storm we rode out in a pontoon on the Missouri river in Montana.

The dirt cleared and I could see the SUV in front of me was rocking hard enough that its tires were lifting off the road. I was VERY glad to be in our car alone instead of in a minivan full of screaming kids. Sam would have been traumatized for life, since the least rumble of thunder sends him running for the basement.

As soon as the wind stopped, we all took off again, heading for the nearest town as fast as we could go. By the time I got there, the skies were clearing and the wind had died down so I kept going.

But I didn't slow down much. After that, all I wanted to do was get home!
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Working Mom, Week One

The return to the office is going pretty well. The kids are dealing with it better than I expected.

Of course, Isaac did come to our bed the other night. His stated reason was that he needed to be with Mom. Of all the kids, he's the one that seems to need a little more mom time now that I'm not here all day every day.

As for me, I'm managing the transition from full-time Mom to employee without too many bumps. Of course, my "Doc McStufffins" reference was a dead giveaway to my status as mom. But, I haven't told anyone to "flush and wash" as they come out of the bathroom.

I do have to surpress my instinct to leap up and investigate every time there's a loud noise or a burst of laughter. And I can't quite get used to using the bathroom without little hands poking under the door, but I'm adjusting.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

At Long Last...The Ballet Recital!

I was finally able to string together the video clips of the boys giving their little performances at their last ballet class.

Yes, they tried to rip the barre off the wall. And yes, they did get in trouble on more than one occasion for body slamming each other.

All of the kids did a marvelous job, and Amelia is clearly ready for the intermediate level class now. They did have fun, and they want to take ballet again, after they have another round of gymnastics.

So without further ado, I present to you: Sam, Isaac and Alex's first ballet recital.

Boys DO ballet!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012

It Was So Quiet

Today was my first full day of work, and it was so quiet! On Friday when I left the office after a couple hours they told me to rest up. I laughed and said that being there was resting up. And in many ways it was!

I know it will get much, much busier. But for most of today it was so quiet that my ears were ringing with the silence.

I missed my little people, to be sure, but on the other hand I got to eat a hot meal at lunchtime and not once did I have to leap up from the toilet to investigate a suspicious crash from the other room.


In other news, I really want to get the boys' ballet videos up, but I'm having a heck of a time editing them into one clip. I may just have to give up and put all three up instead. So just hold on a little longer. It's coming soon, I promise!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, April 28, 2012

One of Life's Greatest Pleasures

Today the boys skipped their nap. Which meant that tonight I had some tired boys on my hands. Tired boys who were happy to curl up in Mama's lap and rock.

Isaac headed to bed first and happily agreed to a cuddle and a lullaby in the rocking chair. Then he asked to be put in his bed.

Alex only lasted a couple minutes before he was ready to head for bed, too.

He was sound asleep a few minutes later when Sam crawled into my lap and snuggled up. Sam is the cuddler of the group, so he was more than content to stay right there in the rocking chair until he fell asleep in my arms.

I enjoyed every second of my rockabye time tonight. It's not as common as it used to be, and it truly is one of life's greatest pleasures.

The warm weight of a child in your arms, head nestled on your shoulder, soft breath on your cheek...does it get any better than that?

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

31 Weeks? Piece of Cake

Today I started my re-entry into the career world. Next week will be my official start date, though we're still working out the details of child care.

There's a lot swirling in my head right now about working, staying at home, hiring a nanny and more. Eventually I'll sift through it and share more of it with you. I'd have done it by now if my darling boys would figure out how to sleep past 5:45 in the morning.

I am not a morning person. NOT.

For now, I'll share the conversation I had today with the Chief of Staff. I'm working on a political campaign, so the timeline is short -- which is part of why the offer was so appealing to me.

The CoS said, "We've got 31 weeks until the election. How much can you get done in 31 weeks?"

I smiled and replied, "The last time someone gave me a timeline of 31 weeks I grew three humans. I think we'll get plenty accomplished."

And to that he had no answer. Though he may already be regretting hiring a smart ass. 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: Wedding Bells

Yesterday Amelia asked me if she could wear her flower girl dress for dress up. Next thing I know she was talking Sam into dressing up to be her groom.

So the two of them got "married" out on the front porch.

It was pretty cute, and Sam was pretty cooperative. (Though Amelia was NOT happy he wanted to wear her Ariel necklace.)

Ten minutes later they had a baby...

They sure do grow up fast!

Play along with Wordful Wednesday over at Seven Clown Circus.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Change Is Coming

Less than two weeks ago my friend and mentor called me and asked if I was ready to go back to work. I was sure the answer was no.

But then he presented me with the opportunity, and it was something I had to at least look at.

So I looked. And I interviewed last Monday.

I had a second interview on Saturday morning.

And today I accepted an offer.

As soon as I can arrange child care and get things organized here at home I'm returning to work full-time in communications.

I'm excited and I want to throw up all at the same time.

When I told my sister that she said, "So it's pretty much like finding out you're pregnant with triplets?"

Ha! That's true.

This is a short-term gig, just through the end of the year and I know it will be a big adjustment for all of us, but I think the opportunities it will bring down the road will be worth it.

Change certainly is the one constant in our lives, isn't it?

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Guess It's Genetic

Amelia and I went to the open house and book fair at her school last week. She was thrilled to show me the classroom tadpoles and the butterflies that were getting close to emerging from their chrysalises, and the chicks that the other kindergarten class is hatching.

I was thrilled she's getting her animal fix at school so we don't have to have a zoo (which would be her choice, definitely!) here at home.

Amelia's teacher said she's done well and will be a solid first-grader, though she does have a tendency to be a perfectionist.

No kidding! She got a double dose of those genes.

Jeff and I say, only half-jokingly, that God gave us triplets to help us get over our perfectionist tendencies. Because ever since the boys arrived we're lucky to get done what needs to be done at all, let alone done perfectly.

Hopefully Amelia won't need a lesson of that magnitude to learn to ease up on herself a bit!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sam and His "Beard"

The other night Sam had some rare time to himself in the tub. He also had a bar of soap, which he used to great result!

Now that YouTube is working again, I'll have video of the boys in their ballet class up soon!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Divide and Conquer

Today Jeff and I separated the children to run a few errands. I took Sam and Alex to the specialty grocery store to pick up some super fine ground rice flour and a few other things. Jeff took Amelia and Isaac to the library, Goodwill and to drop off some recycling.

It never ceases to amaze me what a difference having two instead of three or four makes. It really, really, REALLY is much easier. Really.

It's the difference between herding sheep and herding flying monkeys...who are deaf...and maniacal.

Of course, the only store I ever take the kids to is Costco, and their carts hold two. So Sam and Alex were a little confused about why the cart only had a seat for one!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

The East Wind Is Blowing

Sometimes I can't wait to sit down and write something in this space. There's a story from the day I want to capture, an opinion, a recipe, an idea to be shared.

Other times it's a bit of a challenge, but it's good to be challenged as a writer. That is often when I write something that's more about me than my kids. It might be a story from my past, an opinion, a rant. And I like the idea that my kids can learn something about me, as well as something about their lives, from this blog.

Once in a great while it feel like an obligation to post something. Those are the days when I know it's been to long since I've touched base, when the day has wiped me out, when I just can't get the words to come together in my brain.

Tonight there's so much swirling around in my brain, but I can't get it out. The East wind is blowing, and I am not sure what it will bring. Maybe something. Maybe nothing at all. I can't wait to see what it brings.

It remains to be seen if I'll open the door and let the wind in or not.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Random Things I Learned Today

Today I learned:

That it takes a LONG time to clean up a half gallon of liquid soap;

That it takes approximately one hour and 59 minutes longer to re-roll $60 in change than it takes three three-year-olds to unroll it;

And that five egg whites makes a LOT of meringues. (But if they are these chocolate chip meringues, which I made Sam-friendly by using Enjoy Life chocolate chips, you'll be glad!)

I'd like to thank my boys for the first two lessons. The third was entirely my own doing.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh, Honey. We Need to Talk!

Today in the van Amelia said, "It's so weird that Aunt Allie had kitties in her belly, Mom."

Um, what?

It took me a minute to process what she was talking about, and then I started to chuckle.

The other day we had talked with Aunt Allie (who got married in July) and Amelia asked if she had any kids yet. Aunt Allie said no, but she did have kitties.

If you're five apparently that conversation translates to Aunt Allie actually having kitties.

So we had a baby birds and bees conversation about how people have people babies and cats have kittens and so on.

"Oh, I get it," said Amelia. "People are people and animals are animals. So people can't have animals in their bellies or they will die."

Yep, let's just go with that.

© Trippin' Mama 2012