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