Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost Heaven ...

West Virginiaaaaaaaaa! Ok, so we're not going to WV, but we are heading somewhere mountainous (WV has mountains, right?), so I thought I would pay homage to John Denver with my title. Don't knock John Denver, that man's a legend. Just listen to a little "Leaving on a Jet Plane" to verify this (I would have actually used this as my title if we were flying somewhere, but no such luck).

We're off to spend a much needed week in the NC mountains with some beloved family. The kids have never been there, so it should be fun. I am diligently praying that they have not inherited my intolerance (read: tendency to lose my lunch) of winding mountain roads. I'm packing the Dramamine just in case. Hopefully we will have good weather and good times (I'm sure about the latter, at least). I may blog there, but chances are I won't, so I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures and regale you with stories of our adventures when we return. Everyone enjoy the holiday weekend and start of summer!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Floaters (or Meadow Muffins for the socially refined)

Ok, I'm going to open a can of worms here, so be prepared. For those of you who have read this blog for a little while, you know I'm not afraid to broach the bodily fluid, modesty withholding topics. Please see my previous blog HERE for an example. Anyway, the title of this blog may give you a little hint of what I'm going to talk about today. Again, I am warning you that if you don't like to hear about things that come out of a baby's body (quite too regularly in my opinon, I might add), then STOP READING HERE!

Let me just start by saying that I had NO idea how much a little baby can, ahem, "eliminate" from his body from the day he is born. Holy goodness I remember thinking, "How did so much of THAT come out of something so tiny? He must have just lost half his body weight!". Needless to say, I guess that's why the Pee-pee Tee Pee sells so well (now if they could just invent a similar product for numero dos!). As any mom knows, after those first couple months (and the introduction of solid food), the little one's bodily functions get a little more under control and more manageable. Most moms were excited about introducing solids to their baby because it was a big step in their development. Sure, I was happy about that too, but I was REALLY excited when I saw that it meant that it firmed up those little "nuggets of happiness" that were deposited just for me on a now less regular basis. Again, I'm sorry if I am grossing you out, I'm leaning heavily on the euphemisms to try and avoid complete repulsion on your behalf.

This somewhat extensive (and not really relevant) back story is all leading up to one of my biggest fears ... the floater. I remember when we finally started putting the triplets in a bathtub together. It was a big step and a little treacherous with 3 wet, wriggly babies together in a tub. But, rather than being scared about one of them falling over or something like that, I was terrified to think what would happen if one of them decided to deposit a couple floaters in the tub. What do you do? I mean, it seems extremely unsanitary and babies put EVERYTHING into their mouths ... see where I'm going? I was always on constant poop patrol when we bathed the trips because I was so afraid.

I wish I could tell you that my fears were unfounded and that I was worried for nothing, but that would be a straight up lie. After a couple months of poop patrol, my heightened sense of awareness started to wane. And then, BAM!, we were hit with it out of nowhere. I was reaching for the soap and when I looked back in the tub, there it was, floating in all it's glory. Fortunately it was still "in tact" and in one piece, so I didn't have to worry about the rapid spreading effect. All I remember is yelling, "Oh crap!" (no pun intended) to my husband who was in the other room. Instinctively, he seemed to know what it was and came flying into the bathroom. Five seconds later we had 3 soaking wet babies sitting on the bathroom floor crying after being plucked from their warm bath.

We spent the next couple minutes drying them off and deciding what to do while staring at those long feared meadow muffins bobbing aimlessly in the tub (side note: I just looked up synonyms for poop on and meadow muffin was seriously one of the options). We finally decided that the only option was to drain the tub, remove the offending muffins, and bleach the tub and all the bath toys. This sounded like a good idea at first but it ended up being more work than we bargained for. After our induction into the floaters club (members only), the trips made sure to keep us on our toes with some sneak attacks here and there to be sure we weren't letting our guard down. It was a glorious day once they got old enough to not have to worry about our precious little muffins popping up anymore.

Just to be sure we hadn't forgotten them, we had our first run-in in a long time with Mr. McNugget yesterday night. This time it wasn't one of the triplets, Luke decided to become a member of the Muffin of the Month club and donate his earnings to the bathtub. I'm proud to report that I handled his initiation much more smoothly than my first, and he was out of the tub in a flash with the water being drained in a matter of seconds. And, as every mom is with her second, third, or fourth child, I wasn't as insistent on the bleach. Oh sure, we drained the tub and cleaned it up a bit, but then the water was back on and he was back in the tub in a matter of minutes. Crisis averted and clean enough for me. Hopefully he won't have any more of these incidents, but, if he does, I am now confident that the wrath of the meadow muffin will not consume me and I will handle it like the seasoned veteran that I now am.

Luke, post-initiation ceremony. Don't worry, we cleaned the bath toy he is holding (I think ...).

PS - If this post has not totally grossed you out and you are looking for some visual accompaniment, check out this super funny video on the same topic HERE at 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Triad Smarty Pants

If you get a chance today, head on over to Triad Smarty Pants. This is a local blog run for and by Triad area (Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point) moms that features great tips, ideas, and information on mommy-hood and all it entails. Even if you aren't from the Triad area you should check it out because many of their posts are universal to ALL moms, regardless of location. Since moving to W-S in January, I have found a wealth of information and resources through this blog. And, luckily, they are spotlighting the Clifford PALS blog as one of their featured mommy blogs today! So please check it out to see what kind of great thing are going on in the Triad for moms and their families!

Also, in the spirit of my poetic escapade from yesterday, I decided to honor TSP with their very own poem (I know, you wish you were them). For this one I decided to switch the format to pay tribute to my husband's country of origin, Ireland, and wrote a good ole fashioned limerick. So "top of the morning" to everyone and hope you enjoy my latest attempt!

Triad Smarty Pants
There once was a blog with great vision,
Not surprisingly run by two women.
With tips, prizes and more
They had followers galore,
Proving moms can do it all yet again!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I'm A Poet ...

Let's face it - I was not much of an English and Literature gal in school. I much preferred the logistics and certainty of math and science as opposed to the subjective interpretations of Tennyson and Thoreau. Heck, I'm even impressed that I remember those two guys' names. Then again, I was mostly told what subject matter to write about when I was in school instead of getting to choose the subject myself. So, with a new found hope and yearning for all things literary, I decided to try my hand at some poetry for your reading pleasure. I stuck with what I know - all things mom and child related - in order to ease myself into the process. I remember enjoying haiku poems in elementary school (or was it just that I liked the word, "haiku" ... hmmmm), so that's where I started. See what you think.

Play Doh
Salty, squishy clay
Fun for kids but not for me,
The one who cleans up.

Dining Out
Who's that screaming child,
Throwing his food at others?
Oh no, he is mine.

Ok, so I'm not the next Edgar Allan Poe, but I thought it was admirable for this science girl's first attempt. I just needed something fresh in my mind after reading, "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear?" twelve times this morning! 

Speaking of kid books I read too much, I thought I'd leave you with a poem I recently found paying hommage to another of our well read books, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" (or "Moose a Muffin", or "Pig a Pancake", etc). The "If You Give a Blank a Blank" book company must be rolling in the dough with all the different versions they have of this book. So anyway, I thought this poem really gave the book some much needed "mommy" updating to make it more modern, so to speak. Enjoy!

If You Give a Mom a Muffin
If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her
she has to plan for supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook
("101 Things To Do With a Pound of Hamburger").
The cookbook is setting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The check book is in her purse
that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old's diaper.
While she is changing the diaper, the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember she wants to phone a friend for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her
that she was going to have a cup.
And chances are... If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it. 

                     - Author Unknown

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Outside (and Inside) the Box

What is it about kids and cardboard boxes? I guess they have miles and miles of endless imaginations that we all seem to lose as we enter adolescence and then adulthood. We've had a lot of cardboard around here lately with the new swing set, Luke's birthday, etc. Half of our basement is still full of boxes from our move, even though there have been several trips made to dispose of the endless brown monsters. At least it provides for some good old fashioned fun for the kids though.

I also realized that I never put a final, finished product picture of the swing set up for all posterity to admire. My husband does deserve a round of golf claps for his job well done. I wanted to get a picture of him standing next to it to commemorate his ultimate "handy man" event, but he thought that would be a bit hokey. Oh well, I'll just have to settle of one of the swing set all alone (maybe I can Photo Shop a picture of him going down the slide in a future post).

And finally, I have been dreading thinking about embarking upon the next great battle in the life of a mom with toddlers. I am more scared of this than anything so far. I have been reading books and such, but I know nothing will prepare me for it. Yes, I'm talking about this ...

Don't worry, there will be updates to come when/if/ever I decide to tackle this one. We tried a mild experiment this weekend and it did not go as I had planned (you mean they don't just "get it" in a couple days?). Any tips, as always, are welcomed. For now, I'm just going to continue having nightmares of the dozens of loads of laundry and even more bottles of Resolve carpet cleaner that seem to be in my future. Are you sure I can't just send them to college in diapers?

Monday, May 10, 2010


This past weekend we had a lot of family in town for a Clifford Celebration Weekend. This is how we tend to do things as a family. Basically, we identify any and all reasons for celebration within a reasonable time frame and smash all the fun into 36-48 hours while we get as much family as possible in town to celebrate with us. Sounds exhausting fun, right? Besides needing a full 16 hours of sleep after said celebration in order to recover, the weekend-o-fun is always a great time. Items on the agenda for this past weekend included swing set construction (fun for kids, not for adults), Mother's Day, and a certain little man's first birthday.
But before the cake and presents, the day started off with some hard labor. We recently purchased a swing set for the kids. We (let's be serious here - my husband) thought we (or he) could put it together ourselves (or himself). Well, I CAN say that he did put it together himself ... it just took a lot of hours of turning an allen wrench by the floodlights of the garage in order to do so. This past weekend was the final stage of construction and luckily he had some help.
Sam was REALLY into the swing set construction. This boy loves tools like nothing I have ever seen. Drills, wrenches, levels ... he loves them all. He spent the entire afternoon outside "helping" in any way he could.

Don't worry, we supervised him while drilling. I guess the 184 drill holes he left in the swing set make it look loved, right? Plus, it was a small price to pay when compared to the unbridled joy the act of drilling brought this boy.

Of course the girls helped out too. Adah tested the rock wall's durability before it was put in place.

And Peyton expressed her displeasure with the amount of time the construction was taking.

But, after a long afternoon of work, the swing set was finished! Thanks to John and my very handy husband for all the work they put in on this project. The kids are going to have so much fun on it for many years to come.

After a short break, it was birthday time! Luke had a blast opening his presents. Even though Sam "helped" him open several gifts, he held his own and ripped that paper with the best of them. After presents was the cake! We got Luke a cake that aptly describes him at this stage of his life.

Before you even ask, I did not make the monkey cake myself (despite my best attempts, I could not summon up my inner domestic goddess to pull off a cake like this).

We let Luke have his traditional first birthday cake smashing party outside. The pictures pretty much tell the story.

He actually took a few minutes to warm up to it. I don't know if he's that much of a chocolate fan ...

But then he started to get the hang of it and got a little more adventurous.

Five minutes in ...

"Hey mom, you want some cake?"

Ten minutes in ...

In the end, I think he enjoyed playing in it more than he did eating it. Regardless, we had a pretty happy baby boy when it was over.

After the party, baths, and bedtime for the kids, the adults had a great night of food and fun. We had wonderful weather to enjoy the evening and really relished everyone's company.

The next day was Mother's Day! We celebrated with a Mother's Day brunch, which was yummy and very special. I know that I am a mother every day, but it's nice to have a day dedicated to moms to help me recognize my own mother and grandmothers who have been instrumental in shaping who I am today. We let the kids run around after lunch and enjoyed another beautiful day. We even found time to take a family photo (a rarity in this house) ...

I have a bunch of little hams on my hands (including the big one in the yellow shirt)! Thank you to all our family who spent this weekend with us and made it so special. We missed having my FL family here, but I know they were with us in spirit. Happy Mother's Day to all of the hard working moms out there!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grass Stains

I have an announcement ladies and gentlemen, I have an announcement. We officially have grass in our backyard!

I know, I am as amazed as you are. After 4 months of sinking ankle-deep in mud whenever we dared to enter the area formerly known as grass, the day has finally come where we can actually walk and play in the yard!

The future of the LPGA ...

What?? You haven't heard of the one-handed drive yet? This is athletic innovation in action.

The kids have really enjoyed being able to go out and play in their own backyard for a change instead of a park. We love parks, but it's nice to be able to just walk outside to your own backyard anytime you want and have some fun.

I'm even looking forward to some grass stains!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Supermarket Sweep

So I may be dating myself here, but does anyone remember the show Supermarket Sweep? It was a show on Lifetime in the early 90's and I remember watching it sometimes. The best part was when the competitiors raced each other through the supermarket, armed with careening shopping carts, trying to find the right products to answer the clues they got in every aisle. It was pure insanity for housewives (which is why I'm still curious as to what drew me to it as a young teenager - another question for another day I suppose). They really don't make game shows the way they used to. Well, we had our own version of Supermarket Sweep this weekend and I think I have the next generation of "Super Sweepers" lined up. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to this episode's contestants!

First we have Peyton, better known as Penny-Pincher P to her friends! Peyton's talents include making up lyrics to her own songs, getting out of her bed after the lights are out, and telling everyone she can see about her new flashlight (what, you haven't heard about it?). Here's a couple shots of Penny Pincher in action ...

Look at how quickly she loads that cart!

"$3.99 for store brand saltines?!?! That's highway robbery!"

And she's off for the next clue ...

Our next contestant is Always Affordable Adah. AAA specializes in reading the same books over and over, singing along to bilingual character education cds, and running extremely quickly (as evidenced by the fact that we were only able to snag one picture of this contestant in action). We managed to catch up with her in the ethnic foods section. Tacos anyone?

Our final contestant is Big Spender Sam. He has been known to enjoy the time out chair, getting haircuts, and "fixing" anything with Daddy's tools (who knew you could "fix" the porch railings with a stud finder?). Sam is known for his emphasis on quality and brands, therefore earning him the title, Big Spender.

Checking the expiration date on the lactose-free milk ...

"I love these self-serve checkout lines. If you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself."

Who will it be? Will Big Spender pull through in the midst of self checkout? Will Penny Pincher and her frugal ways help her earn the top spot? Will the whirlwind known as AAA come from behind as the dark horse? You'll have to tune in live to Winston-Salem, NC next time the Cliffords go to the Children's Museum (time still TBA) to see the result!