Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Clone Me!

I'm so busy right now that I really need at least two of me -- even though I'm ignoring the cleaning and laundry and ekeing by on the whole feeding the kids and hubby thing.

I've got board work, the big multiples clothing sale, my freelance gig, full-time motherhood and this little piece of the blogosphere all vying for attention. And as fun as blogging is, it doesn't pay the bills or care for the kids, so it had to give a bit.

I promise I'll be back soon. My big meeting is Friday and the multiples sale is Saturday. I should be able to breathe a bit after that.

I've got a great story about the boys and ballet, an update on Sam, and some experiments in flourless baking to share.

Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!


© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I was busy going back and forth getting chores done as the kids ate lunch today. From the other room I heard Amelia start lecturing her brothers. (Really, there's no other word for it.)

"You know," she said wisely, "there are four boys in this family and only two girls."

Sam said, "No, there are THREE boys."

"Daddy's a boy, too, so FOUR boys," said Amelia.

She continued, "And I really wish I had two sisters who were the same age as me."

My heart twinged a little. It's not the first time Amelia has wished for a sister or three

Then Isaac said, incredulously, "Two more just like YOU?"

I had to smother my laugh as I fled the room.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The First Ballet Class

The boys had their first ballet class today. They did wonderfully.

Well, there was that one moment where I watched seven precious little ballerinas holding the barre and attempting an arabesque, while three little boys attempted to rip the barre off the wall. But other than that, they did great and they had a lot of fun.

And, all of the boys wore shorts without much protest. Whew!

Parents are not allowed in the classroom until the final class, but I promise there will be video eventually.

I just hope that barre is bolted to the wall really, really well.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sometimes Life Takes Over

How do you like that? A thousand posts and then POOF! Nothing!

Company (yay!), a crisis (boo!), and a cold (yuck!) all conspired to keep me from posting. 

And as I'm still suffering from the cold and tired from the crisis and the company this is all you get for tonight. I'm off to bed, and I hope to be back on track tomorrow! 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What Do They Put In Those Things?

I succumbed to the lure of the Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs the other day. Seriously, what do they put in those things? Why are they so much better than plain old Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

To make matters worse, I've been reading "Eat This, Not That," and generally going on a rampage about eating healthier around here. And in between reading about what not to eat, I'm eating PB Eggs. So very, very wrong.

Toss in a little guilt about eating something that contains almost every ingredient Sam can't eat, and I'm just a hypocritical mess over here.

A mess, I tell you... with chocolate on my chin.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let's Ride The "Alligator"

I love, love, love hearing three-year olds talk, especially to each other when they don't know I'm listening. Amelia was funny at this age, and the boys are too.

The boys regularly have conversations that crack me up. And I often can't bring myself to correct things they mispronounce. It's just too cute right now.

The other day Isaac, Alex and Sam were playing in Amelia's room when she was off to school. I was putting towels away in the hall closet when they started talking about going to the childrens' museum.

First there was some negotiating over who would drive. Isaac won.

Then there was a lot of fast conversation about what they would see first when they got there. There was no agreement.

Then I heard Alex yell, "Time to get in the alligator!"

When I peeked in, all three of them were standing in the closet, facing out. They closed the door and chatted while they waited for the "alligator" to take them to "lebel four." (Or "lebel pour," if you're Alex.

Pretty soon someone binged like the elevator had reached the right floor. Then there was an argument about whether or not they were really there yet. Then they opened the door and came out ready to explore the museum.

It will be a sad day when they stop saying things like ""alligator"and "cimmanon" and "fwuit." So for now I'm enjoying it while I can!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Happy Holy Cow Day and Post #1,000!

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the day we got the news that we were expecting triplets AND this is post number 1,000 on this blog!

To celebrate, here's a little glimpse at life then and now.

Oh sure, life is a little noisier and I've swapped out the ice cream for wine, but overall not much has changed. 

We continue to be overwhelmed by all of our blessings!

Thanks for being part of our journey from the initial panic to today's insanity and for reading my little piece of the blogosphere. I wonder what the next 1,000 posts will bring?


© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

From My Kitchen: Cranberry Coleslaw

This is my 999th post, and I'm finding that pretty hard to believe! Since it's Friday, come on into my kitchen while I share a recipe.

But first, indulge me for a quick trip down memory lane, won't you? I posted my first recipe (for Oreo brownies) in August of 2009, and it drew rave reviews, so I threw out my favorite recipes from time to time. In May of 2010, I started to make recipe posts a mostly-weekly Friday feature here. You can find all my recipes linked up under the From my Kitchen graphic on the left hand sidebar.
This week's recipe is a new one I've just tried out. It was delicious!

I have a real love-hate relationship with coleslaw. I love it in its sweet-tangy, vinegary forms. I hate it in its gloppy, mayonnaise-y forms. Blech!
This cranberry coleslaw was in the latest Penzey's spices catalog. It's got a great tangy dressing, and the cranberries add a nice sweet-tart touch.

Here's the recipe:
Cranberry Coleslaw
6-8 Cups shredded cabbage
1/4 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup dried cranberries
1/3 Cup each cider vinegar
1/3 Cup canola oil
1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp. celery seed

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the onion and cranberries.

Note: For crisper cabbage combine cabbage and a teaspoon of salt in a colander. Cover with plastic wrap and place a heavy plate on top of the cabbage. (Make sure your plate rests on the cabbage, not the colander, to help press out the excess water.) Set the colander over a large bowl and place in the fridge for 1-4 hours, or even overnight, to allow the excess water to drain. Pat dry before tossing with other ingredients. This will produce very crisp cabbage.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the slaw, cover and refrigerate a few hours or overnight. Drain off excess dressing.

This is perfect as a side to pulled pork or with anything you want to toss on the grill in the coming warmer months.
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Popcorn Problem

Many parents struggle with a child repeatedly coming to their bed at night. Last night we struggled with THREE. It was like popcorn. Every time I rolled over a different boy was there jumping around and preventing sleep.

Jeff and I kept taking them back to their beds, but there are three of them and they just. kept. coming.

Isaac has been coming to our bed once or twice a week for some time now. Sometimes it's just "to snuggle Mommy." Sometimes it's because of the monster. But now his brothers have caught onto the idea and we've been fighting back a tidal wave of toddlers the last few nights.
Time for the sleeping bag (or bags!) to come out. You can come to Mommy's room, but NOT to Mommy's bed.

Good luck with that, right? 
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

To Work Or Not To Work...

In response to my call for what you wanted to see here, The Gausman Six tossed this one out:

"Something I would love to see you talk about is if financially it had made sense, would you have continued to work outside the home knowing what you know now about triplets' (and school age kids') schedules and logistics and how difficult it is to manage."

Whew! Thanks for throwing me a softball question, Shannon! Here's my answer.


Stay-at-home mom? Work-outside-the-home mom? Work-at-home mom? It's a good dilemma to have: Should one parent stay home with the kids or should both parents work? There are lots of people out there who don't have a choice.

And sometimes the choice has nothing to do with money. Not everyone is cut out to be a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). Heck, there are many days when I am sure I'm not cut out to be a SAHM. And there are days when I am positive my kids would be better off with a nanny.

For all the challenges and frustrating days I've had as a stay-at-home mom these last three plus years, I cherish the time I've had with my kids. That said, I can see from here that what many of my fellow moms say is true: It's easier to work while your kids are little.

A competent nanny can handle the daily schedule of triplets plus one. God knows, if an overtired mom can handle it, a well-rested caregiver can do it! But as kids get older they need someone there to cheer them on. They want a parent on the sidelines. And making that happen requires some serious effort!

Plus, little kids = little problems. As your kids get bigger, the problems get bigger, too, and you've got to juggle that into the mix. Having a caregiver deal with a fever or potty training is one thing. Bullies and broken hearts require parental assistance.

I have said many a time that I don't know how a two-career family manages kids' after-school activities and the need for a part-time chauffeur. I still don't have any answers to that dilemma, since we're not quite there yet.

I can see from today's vantage point that returning to work would require a lot of juggling, being very particular about what activities the kids participate in, and probably take a personal secretary just to keep it all straight.

But I love my chosen career, and I got great personal satisfaction out of my work. I'm not willing to say I'll never go back. I don't know how all of those things will come together yet, but here's what I do know.

I know that I am glad I have stayed home. I am equally glad I have the experience of being a mom who worked outside the home. And I'm glad to be a work-at-home mom now. (Though my colleagues tend to be quite rude when I'm on the phone!)

All of that brings me to my answer: "No." Knowing what I know now, I would not have continued to work outside of the home. Not because of the complicated scheduling, but because I realize what a privilege it is to have been such a huge part of my kids' lives these past three years. I know what I would have missed, and it would have been a great loss.

Now if only I had a crystal ball to help me decide what to do about the working dilemma in the future.

Stay tuned: Three posts until number 1000!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: Who Needs Bunk Beds?

Ever since we found out w were having triplets, my husband and I have developed an unnatural fascination with bunk beds and the many variations on the standard theme.

Since the boys will have to be at least five before we can safely move to bunk beds (and even then I question how long it will be until they are leaping off the top bunk), we've had lots of time to talk about future sleeping arrangements.

Should we go with two sets of traditional bunk beds and have an open bunk? How about a triple bunk arrangement with the middle bunk at a right angle? Maybe a bunk bed with a trundle to save some space in an already small room?

There are ultra cool options like this sofa bed/bunk bed:

Photo credit: www.coolthings.com

Of course, ultra cool is also ultra pricey!

And more traditional, but still cool options like this:

Although I don't see any of my crew sleeping peacefully together. It would be either a fistfight or a gigglefest every night in that bottom bunk!

But as it turns out, we have the perfect solution already at hand:

Amelia, Alex and Isaac show off their new "beds."

Who needs bunk beds when you've got closet shelves? There's even room for Sam on the top "bunk!" Simple, cost-effective and very compact. What more could we ask for?

Play along with Wordful Wednesday over at Seven Clown Circus.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Ballet Boys

In an effort to wear the boys out, they've been taking gymnastics while Amelia is taking ballet. Then they decided they want to take ballet.

Class starts in two weeks and we've got other things going on next weekend, so on Saturday we went to buy ballet shoes. Apparently it's not every day that someone brings three little boys in for ballet shoes.

The young woman who helped us was so excited. She talked to the boys about ballet and told me to remember that if they liked it, we could get scholarships for them. "We need boys in ballet!" she told them.

She also convinced them to wear black shoes instead of pink ones, so for that I thank her!

The boys danced around in their new shoes, to the delight and amusement of everyone else in the dance store.

However, they were entranced with all the pretty tutus and dance wear in the shop. Alex kept asking what he was going to wear to ballet, and I could see where this was heading. I have told them more than once that they would be wearing t-shirts and shorts or sweatpants to class, though I understand that's not as much fun as getting to dress up for class like their sister.

I solicited a little help from our sales lady, "So can you tell us what boys wear to ballet class?" She smiled and told the boys that they would wear t-shirts and shorts to practice in. (She really did deserve a tip!) Alex wasn't buying that.

I'm still not sure what we'll be wearing to class in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

An Update On Sam

In response to my request for what you want me to post about in the run up to the big 1000, my Aunt Irene asked for an update on Sam's skin rash.

Six weeks ago we discovered Sam was sensitive to wheat, dairy and soy, as well as garlic, salmon and peanuts. We removed all those foods from his diet, and it hasn't been easy! But we are seeing some improvement to the rash that has plagued Sam since about this time last year.

Honestly, it's hard to be patient with this process. I try to keep reminding myself that it took a year to get this bad, so it's not going to go away overnight. But it's easy to focus on the fact that he does still have a lot of rashiness and we've had more than one night in the last month where Sam has been awake at night because, "I just itch all over."

That said, we have not used any steroid cream or medicine on Sam's skin in six weeks. And when our friend Sarah recently babysat she commented on how much better he looked. That was good to hear. It's easy for us to focus on the fact that he's still rashy, instead of seeing that he is improving.

Sam's rash started at his feet and gradually made its way up his body and even onto his face. It appears to be disappearing the same way. His face, neck, chest and upper back are rash-free, but his lowerback and arms and legs are still rashy. His feet continue to be the worst, but even they are definitely better -- less scaly.

We're only six weeks in, so I'm not yet convinced that this is the final answer to resolving Sam's skin issues. But it has been more effective than most of the steroid creams and medicines we've tried in the last year. I think the salt water baths have been helping, too.

So Sam's skin is gradually improving, and we are making progress on finding foods he wants to eat, though it's still time-consuming and expensive. We're supposed to keep this up for six months, and I hope to see some major improvement by the time we hit three months.

In the meantime, I am starting to get the hang of this no dairy, no soy, no wheat thing. And Sam is more and more accepting of the substitutes we offer him. Tonight, for example, I scored a major victory with macaroni and cheese made from Tinkyada rice noodles and "cheese" sauce made with non-soy, non-dairy substitute, rice flour, So Delicious coconut milk, and chedddar style almond cheese.

Happy Sam, happy mom!

Thanks for asking, Aunt Irene, and thanks for always checking in on us via the blog!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Friday, March 2, 2012


I am smiling as I write this, because today serendipity intervened.

I had a bunch of meetings for my volunteer work with 4-H that took me back to the university where I used to work. It is always fun to go back and see some familiar faces and visit old haunts.

Then I ran into my good friend Laurie. She and I shared an office for seven years, and we had some great times together but we haven't always stayed in touch. Hugs, ohmigoshes, and a flurry of conversation ensued. Laurie grabbed my arm and said, "I'm having an impromptu birthday celebration at 5. Come! Please come!"
So I did.

It was the only thing I could do.

You see, Laurie and I both recently experienced a sudden loss. About the same time my cousin passed away, a good friend of hers committed suicide after a long battle with depression. The lesson was not lost on us. Life is short, so enjoy it. Say "I love you," spend time with family, take care of your friends, and for Pete's sake, if serendipity hands you the opportunity to celebrate with a friend TAKE IT! It will put a smile on your face.

Happy birthday, my friend!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Worst Hospitality EVER

I've written far too often here about mice and the need to catch them. And more than once I've alluded to a mouse story that took place one girls' weekend when I was with my mom and my sisters. Now it's time to tell the story.

Girls Weekend 2002. We rented a cabin in Wisconsin so we could go the Cranberry Festival. I know it sounds hokey, but we had a good time. What's not to like about a festival where you can shop and eat elephant ears?

Anyway, it was late fall, and when we got to our pretty basic cabin in the woods, our hostess informed us that the last occupants had complained about mice.

She casually said they hadn't caught the rodents yet, then brought in a large plastic garbage can and a six-foot 2x4. She tossed a handful of sunflower seeds in the bottom of the garbage can and very casually told us it was the best mouse trap ever. All we had to do was put the garbage can in the middle of the room at night and set the board up so the mice could run up to the garbage can. According to our charming hostess, the mice would smell the seeds, run up the board, fall into the garbage can and not be able to get out.

I think we made a pretty good show of not looking horrified or falling to the ground laughing. But the minute our "hostess" left, we immediately put the can and the 2x4 out on the back porch.

Can you imagine listening all night to a mouse scrabbling around inside that plastic garbage can all night?

We eased our heebie jeebies with a couple bottles of wine.

Seriously the worst hospitality EVER. 

© Trippin' Mama 2012