Friday, October 18, 2013

Five, Five, Five!

On October 8 the boys turned five. FIVE! I can't even believe it. Five years old feels like a major accomplishment to me. We survived!

Sam, Alex and Isaac celebrate being five.
Oh, I know there's lots more craziness ahead, but we've survived midnight feedings, mountains of diapers, walking, terrible twos, the move to big kid beds, and potty training. We've made it to the point where everyone can dress themselves, feed themselves, tell us what they think and what they need, buckle their own seat belts, ride bikes without training wheels, brush their own teeth, and occasionally wipe without assistance.  
The boys were so excited the morning of their birthday. Alex came out to the kitchen saying, "I feel stronger!" 
Isaac wandered out mumbling at first, then shouting, "I'm five. I'm five. I'M FIVE!" 
Then Alex and Isaac ran to wake up Sam. Sam came out and said, "I'm taller. I know I'm taller." 
We ripped into the presents and celebrated with a birthday dinner chosen by the birthday boys. The menu included mashed potatoes (Alex), rice (Isaac) and gnocchi (Sam). I added some veggies and chicken just to counter all the starch.  
We finished off with some Angry Birds cupcakes for the second time. On the Saturday before their birthday we took Angry Birds cupcakes to soccer to share with their friends. All in all, it was a great birthday--for all of us! 



Happy birthday, Sam, Isaac and Alex. We LOVE you! 
© Trippin' Mama 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

It's All Relative

The other morning Isaac told me I was way older than him. Then he told me I was way fatter than him.  

As these comments came from a 37-pound not-quite-five-year-old, I decided it's all relative.

And I headed to work feeling young and skinny.
© Trippin' Mama 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Secrets

A couple weeks ago we picked the boys up from the nursery after church, and one of the ladies staffing the nursery couldn't quit laughing. 

She told us that Alex talked to them the entire hour. (He loves to talk. Ahem. That apple may not have fallen far from the tree.)

We already know that with Alex around we have no secrets.

Apparently he told them about all kinds of things, including how he was getting really big.

As she recounted, Alex said: "I'm getting so big! Even my butt is getting big! I got new underwear. They are size 6 and they aren't even too big for me!"

All of which is true, even if the world -- or at least the church nursery -- didn't need to know.

I can see we're going to have to work on developing a filter.    

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

She Is Seven

Amelia turned seven on May 22. She requested a butterfly cake, and I agreed to try my hand at some cake decorating, without getting too crazy! I bought the butterfly-shaped pan and the icing bag and decorating tips.

The first time around I chose to cover the sides with Spree candies, mostly because I got bored making little frosting stars. The boys LOVED that I made a "test cake." Amelia was pretty happy with it, too!

For her party, I sprinkled the edges with silver edible glitter, and did a more professional job on the frosting. I think they both turned out great, and the birthday girl was very happy with each one.

Now the boys have asked for an Angry Birds cake for their quickly-approaching fifth birthday. I'm thinking I can pull off Angry Birds cupcakes... I hope!
Amelia had a great birthday, and I was very proud of her for choosing to have everyone bring a donation for our church food bank instead of a gift for her. She still got plenty, and she got to help a lot of other people, too.

Who can believe they are seven and five? Yikes! They are getting so big so fast!

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mrs. Who?

Now that Amelia is in second grade, she's preparing for her first Communion. One of the things she has to learn is the Act of Contrition. So, I dutifully started teaching her from memory. Then I started to wonder if the church had updated it, perhaps getting rid of the "thees" and "thous."

Fortunately, Amelia has a great Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Ashburne, and she sent a copy of the prayer home.

 Shoot! They updated the whole thing! And while the meaning is the same, it's not even close to what I was teaching her.

Then Amelia told me that her teacher, "Mrs. Hashbrown," would help them practice in class, too. I could not stop laughing.

"It's Mrs. Ashburne, honey," I said.

Maybe we should have these important conversation AFTER we eat.

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

It's a Mutual Attraction

Tonight when I got home the boys all came running. They climbed into my lap, squeezed into my arms, kissed my cheeks, patted my hair and generally loved all over me. 

Then Isaac said, "Mom, whenever you come home we attract you!"

Attract, attack. As long as it means I'm smothered in loving little boys, I'm happy. 

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pancakes and Yoga Pants

I woke up this morning to my phone pinging with a text message. It was our nanny. Poor girl finally succumbed to the fever that's made its way through all three boys.

With Jeff in D.C. and a million things to do at work, my first response was, "Crap."

This whole week seems designed to remind me that things don't always go according to plan. Or at least not according to MY plan. You'd think the triplets would serve as a constant reminder, but apparently this week I needed a refresher course.

Then I realized I had a choice. I could stew about missing work and scramble to find help, or I could embrace this unexpected gift of a day off with my kiddos.

So I put on my yoga pants and made pancakes for breakfast. (Every time I wear my yoga pants I think, "These babies are black. Surely I could accessorize them into work-appropriate clothing. Right?")

With Amelia on the bus for school and three rambunctious boys on my hands, I got everyone ready and we headed out. We were off to the children's museum where we played (them constantly, and me in between a little work on the old iPhone) and had lunch together. Then we went to the grocery store before meeting Amelia's bus. We played in the yard and harvested another dozen tomatoes after Amelia got home.

It was a bonus day, and we made the most of it.

About suppertime the boys got a little wild, and I got frustrated with crazy loud kids and homework to be done. No one's perfect, after all. By the time supper was over we were all good again.

All in all, it was a good day. And those pancakes were delicious. 

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013


Today Jeff went to the visitation for the granddaughter of one of his colleagues. The granddaughter was three months old and was found unresponsive at daycare last week.

It's every parent's worst nightmare, and it offers us good perspective on those days when the kids whine too much or sleep has been in short supply and tolerance is low. It makes you slow down a bit. Listen a little closer. Speak a little gentler. Hug a little more.

We're so blessed to have every one of our kids, and we thank God for every minute we have together.

Please keep the families who are mourning the loss of a child in your prayers tonight. And hug your kids a little tighter tomorrow.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First Day of Second Grade!

School started the first week of August, but as I'm playing catch up, you get to see the pics today. Amelia bounded onto the bus that first day, and her school year is off to a great start.

The boys didn't make a fuss about her getting on the school bus that morning, but they were upset that she was going back to school and wouldn't be around to play with them. Very sweet.

Alex was terribly upset a couple weeks later when he said he'd be going to school when he turned five. I realized he thought he would be going the minute he turned five, rather than NEXT school year. Yikes! He was not happy when I explained he had to wait until next year.

Hope that enthusiasm for school continues!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dapper Dan

Sam is a little particular about what he wears, and he gets excited about new clothes.

So, of course he was thrilled when I asked him to try on one of the suits I found for our friends' wedding. (Only $12 on clearance!)

As I pulled one out, Sam said excitedly, "Does it have a bowtie?"

I had to laugh. What four-year-old asks for a bowtie?

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lily Lou

Amelia has been telling me about this story she's writing at school.

"It's about a girl named Lily Lou, who is the size of a paper clip. She lives in a mango and has a table and chairs made out of celery and a couch made out of carrot slices. Her bed is a slice of tomato and she sleeps under a lettuce leaf."

Can I tell you how much I hope there are pictures to go with this?

Today Amelia gave me an update: "A human entered the room and Lily Lou hid under her bed and shook with fright."

Then she demonstrated, "It's a h-h-human," she said. "She talks like that, you know, because she's shaking with fright."

That child is a girl after my own writer's heart. And also, she's making me a little hungry.

I can't wait to hear the next installment!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, August 25, 2013


I was at a wedding shower today when someone said to me, "You left all four of the kids with your husband?"

Um, yes. He's a big boy, and HE'S THEIR DAD. Really, he can handle it.

What annoys me about this question is that no one ever reacts that way to him leaving all four kids with me. Not even when I had a two-year-old and three infants.

Jeff gets equally annoyed when people ask him if he's babysitting. It's not babysitting when they are your own kids, folks. Again, no one ever asks me that.

We think we're so enlightened these days, because we believe women can do it all -- motherhood, career, homeroom mom, gourmet cook and uber housekeeper/decorator. Yet we don't think men can be left alone with their own kids for a few hours?

Maybe we haven't made as much progress as we think. 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Soccer Mom

I am now officially a soccer mom. Amelia wanted to play when she was five, but as I had three two-year-olds on my hands, I said no. I'm pretty sure dragging them to weekly practice and games would have put me right over the edge.

This year the boys are old enough to play, so we went all in. They love it!

I thought Amelia might not enjoy it as much as she thought she would. She's not the most athletic child. (She does take after her mama, after all!) And, most of the other girls on her team have played before. But she's caught on quickly and has great coaches, so she's having lots of fun.

Then there are the boys. First off, there are eight kids on the team, and they play six on six, so if we don't show up their team can't even play. At the first game a dad of one of their teammates thanked me for driving car pool so they had a team. I told him it wasn't a car pool, just a lot of kids from my house.

The boys love the running and kicking, and they are doing a good job of listening to their coaches and seem to be learning a lot. But those rules about not pushing or pulling on someone's shirt or tackling? Those are a little tough for us. It's a good thing they don't throw yellow flags in peewee league.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, August 8, 2013


A couple kids in this house have undertaken a serious lobbying campaign in the last couple of weeks.

The kids have made past efforts to persuade me to get them a fish, a kitty (Isaac and Sam), a turtle (Alex), a snake (Isaac), a horse (Amelia), a dog (Amelia), a sheep (Amelia), a rabbit (Amelia), a hamster (Amelia), a guinea pig (Amelia). Do you see a pattern here?

But this request is different. It went like this:

Sam: Mommy, when are we going to have a new baby in our house?

Me: *stunned silence*

Sam: Mommy, we NEED to have a new baby. I'm really good at holding babies. I've been practicing!

At that point he ran off, and I regained my ability to speak. Sam came back from his room cradling his doll, Baby Natalie. "See, Mom? See how good I am with babies?" he said. Dang, he was so cute my uterus contracted.

A couple days later Amelia started in about wanting a baby in the house. When I told her Sam was asking for a new baby, too, she took a different angle.

"What kind does he want?" Amelia said. I told her he didn't say. "He wants a girl," she announced. "Because I really need a sister, Mom. Puh-leeeze?"

Look, whining and pestering doesn't get you what you want in this house. ESPECIALLY when what you want is a new baby.

I might have to get them a dog after all.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, August 5, 2013

Long Time, No See

Whew! What a long hiatus! I'm still trying to figure out how to manage this whole kids + job + home + marriage +... well, seems there's rarely room for another plus!

But today a co-worker of mine found out she's expecting twins, and I started remembering all of the early days. (Through a very hazy fog...) And I'm so glad I wrote so much of it down.  And then I realized that I still have so many things I want to write down, so it's time to try to dive back in here.

I have some notes of stories to capture, so we'll be wandering down Memory Lane a bit here before we get back to the business of keeping up.

Stay tuned for pics from the first day of second grade, vacation, bike riding without training wheels (all four at once!) and the general mayhem that makes up our days around here.

See you soon!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The other day Isaac ran up to me all excited and yelled, "We downloaded a new game, Mom!"

Whoa. I know they are pretty good with technology, but downloading games requires several steps and a password.

"What did you download, buddy?" I asked.

He was almost breathless with excitement."Well, I count and my brothers hide and they make kitty noises until I find them!" 

I had to laugh when I realized they hadn't downloaded a new game. They'd made one up.

Kids these days! 
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Koi, Hibachi and Peeing

Today we took the kids to a Japanese steakhouse for lunch to celebrate a friend's birthday. I wasn't worried about Amelia, but I had visions of the boys falling into the koi pond. They did great. 

Of course, the chef cooking at our table helped. They got a kick out of him flipping things around, but when he first set the grill on fire, Isaac and Alex hit the deck. We had to persuade them to come out from under the table and watch the show. 

Isaac's favorite part was when the chef used a toy of a little boy who "peed" on the fire to put it out. Talk about catering to the four-year-olds!

Alex ate a lot and tried almost everything. Isaac ate chicken, rice and the soup, and Sam mostly ate chicken and Fritos from Mom's bag. 

I was very proud of the boys today. And more than a little relieved that we got out of the restaurant unscathed. Seems that little by little it's getting easier to take on the world with triplets in tow! 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Thursday, February 7, 2013

When They Were 21 (Months, That Is)

The other day I was making a baby book for one of the kids on Shutterfly when I came across this old video on my computer.

(I LOVE Shutterfly, by the way. No paid endorsement here, just a happy customer. I make up my books and then order when they have a sale. OK, if I'm being honest, I start my books and then I'm motivated to get them done when a good sale comes around. That is why I was madly polishing one off so I could use a 50% off coupon before it expired.) 

But I digress.

While I was uploading pictures, I found some old videos from when the boys were around two. This one was from the summer when they were 21 months old. Jeff had set the computer up to Skype with the grandparents and turned the camera on the boys and started recording. They can see their picture on the computer screen, which generated most of the conversation.

Jeff and I watched this about a dozen times. We forget so fast how little they once were and how big they are now!     

My babies! I had forgotten how they called each other "Baby." They were Baby Sam, Baby "I-gic" or Baby "I-man" and Baby Alex to each other for a long time.

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mom Vs. Cat

Yet another story that shows why four-year-olds are so much fun.

The other night I was snuggling in bed with Sam, and he asked when we could get a cat. 

"Buddy, I don't think we'll be getting a cat. Mama's really allergic, and a cat would make me sneeze all the time."
Sam replied, "When I'm all grown up and you die, then I can get a cat."

Before I could respond he said, "But I'll miss you, Mom."

Nice to know that I can't be entirely replaced by a cat. 

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Monday, February 4, 2013

Eight or Nine

The other day I had a conversation with Sam where he told me about all the kids he's going to have.

We continued that conversation again the other night, and Isaac was in the room. Sam was talking about all of his kids.

Isaac asked Sam, "How many kids are you going to have?"

"Eight," Sam answered.

Isaac thought about that for a minute and replied, "Then I'm going to have nine."

Everything is a competition these days! 

© Trippin' Mama 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013


The other night I was running a bath for the boys, and they were running around naked. I went back to the bathroom to check the tub, and one of the boys (who shall remain anonymous to prevent future embarassment) was standing next to the tub peeing in it.

I had to ask, "Dude, why are you peeing in the tub? There's a potty right there."

He looked up and answered very seriously, "I was gonna get in there and pee anyway."

At least he's honest!  
© Trippin' Mama 2012

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sam's Plans

Tonight Sam was telling me all about how he is going to have kids when he gets big--eight kids. And he said his brothers and his sister will all have eight kids, too.

Nice of him to volunteer all of them for that large family, wasn't it?

When I told him that was a lot of kids, he said, "No. Only eight. It's not a lot."

I can't wait to remind him of this conversation when his first one is in the throes of the terrible twos.

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread Man!

On Christmas Eve we decorated gingerbread men, and yes, Alex bit the feet off his right away.

I didn't bake the cookies, but bought a kit. It had eight cookies, so we all made one. Jeff and I left ours out for Santa. They weren't bad for cookies that came wrapped in bubble wrap.

Since there are six of us, there were two cookies left over. I put them back in the box and a few days later they were gone. No one would 'fess up that they took the cookies, and I forgot about it.

Then on Thursday Isaac and Sam told me they "ate gingerbread mans." The little buggers had hidden the cookies under their beds weeks before and when they found them again, they ate them.

Good thing those little rascals are so cute!

© Trippin' Mama 2012

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Slip Slidin' on the Sledding Hill

We got about a foot of snow here between Christmas and New Year's, so we headed for the sledding hill. Amelia's an old hand at it, but the boys have never been on the big hill.

Amelia and I went down first, and when we got to the bottom Jeff asked the boys, "Who is going to like this?" The boys shot their hands up into the air so fast their arms practically fell off.

We had a blast. For six days in a row. SIX.

My tailbone may never recover.

We even celebrated my winter birthday with sledding and an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. The kids wanted me to get the SpongeBob cake, but I exercised my birthday girl veto power and got something else, mostly because it was smaller.

Nothing like a sledding party and ice cream to make you feel young!

I could have taken my camera out to the hill, but I didn't. Instead I just enjoyed the sheer delight on each of the kids' faces as they flew down the hill. And I know none of you will begrudge me that.

Hope your New Year is off to a great start!

© Trippin' Mama 2012