Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I *Heart* NYC

I was going through some old videos tonight and happened upon this one that I intended to post but never did. That and the fact that it's late and I'm tired makes for a short yet entertaining blog post from me. Back with more later this week!

P.S.  Please excuse the wayward foot in the middle of the video. We were still working on table etiquette (who am I kidding, we still are) when this was filmed in February.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Technology (and lack thereof)

Last week we went to the library. My intention was to spend the morning looking at and reading books. My kids love to sit and listen to stories for hours, so I thought they're head straight for the shelves when we walked in. Instead, they walked in and began doing this ...

I begged, I pleaded, but all they wanted to do was sit at the computers. Now, I should say that we try to restrict technology with our kids. They have rarely, if ever, been on our computer at home (besides sitting with me while I type an email or something) and they don't play any video games ... yet. Our reasoning is that they will have plenty of time to do these things as they get older and I don't want to see them sitting in front of a screen when they could be playing outside or with their siblings. Their imaginations are through the roof lately and although I know there are lots of educational uses for technology, I don't think it's the most important use of their time right now as preschoolers.

So I guess withholding the computer caused them to go bonkers when I actually let them sit at the ones in the library for a half hour. I had to pry them away and force them towards the books, something I've never had to do. I know they're not going to be technology-free forever, but can't we at least wait until kindergarten before they learn to type? Maybe I'm old fashioned, but that's the way I feel. It's difficult because both Matt and I have smart phones and computers, so they see us using technology on a daily basis. But just because we get to use something doesn't automatically mean it's just as appropriate for a child, right? Kind of like alcohol. You don't get some just because Mommy does. My goal is to teach them that technology is great ... in moderation. So that means I have to watch myself just as much as I watch them to make sure I'm not abusing my technology privileges. I NEVER want my kids to think an email or a text is more important than they are. I have to make sure that even though it's so easy to text a friend or shoot off an email while playing with my kids, I need to refrain. The only way I can teach them the importance and significance of relationships and self-discovery is to put down the phone (or iPad, or laptop) and show them how to do it myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Picture of the Week - August 28

So long summer ... but not before we get a few more evening rides on our new tree swing!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Although I've yet to introdcue the kids to pop radio (we listen to K-LOVE), they still get a taste of it sometimes. We often listen to music from my phone in the car and I have played them my workout mix just to "mix" it up a bit. Needless to say, my workout mixes don't consist of funkified versions of the ABC's or Grover singing about taking turns. Of course, they LOVE these new songs and I feel I may have started an epidemic. I don't know how healthy it is to have your 3 year old asking to hear Britney or Lady Gaga.

So, it goes without saying that since I listen to these workout songs on a daily basis, I (and subsequently, Matt) tend to hum or sing them throughout the day. And once the kids actually heard my workout mix and put two and two together, they realized I was singing the songs from the car. At this age, for some reason, they are VERY interested in what the singers are saying in the songs (which is why we have to screen songs or make up lyrics before letting them listen!). The following conversation happened the other day when Matt was cleaning up the kids from dinner.

Matt: singing Lady Gaga's Poker Face (hope he doesn't kill me for revealing that he was humming this little diddy)

Peyton: "Daddy, what are you singing?"

Matt: "Oh, just one of those workout songs."

Peyton: "But what were you saying when you were singing the song?"

Matt: "Well, the song says Poker Face."

Peyton, laughing: "Daddy, you can't poke your face!!!"

Makes me wonder what they think the lyrics are for a couple of the other songs. I think a little more Rafi and Itsy Bitsy Spider may be in our future.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


As my kids have gotten older and we have gone out more on a day to day basis, I've started to notice how much other people love to stop and talk to us. Usually they comment on how many kids there are and then ask some back-handed question to find out if they're multiples (How old are they? Are they all yours? Are the girls twins?). I don't mind them asking these questions, especially since it almost always gives them a little thrill when I tell them that they are triplets and their younger brother. I can see how the sight of our zoo in public can spawn questions and I've learned to expect the questions and smile when answering.

However, as the triplets get older and start developing distinct features and personalities, I've found that many people want to try and force them into labels. Being multiples, they don't really fall into the typical labels attributed to the oldest, middle, and youngest child (though those are just labels within themselves anyway). One of the biggest concern I had about being a mom of triplets was making sure I fostered a sense of individuality within each of them so that they would know that even though they were part of a group, they were each their own individual person. I've yet to find a book about multiples that claims that one will be the leader, one will be the shy one, and one will be the clown. However, many people naturally tend to ask which of my triplets fit into these certain roles as if it is completely natural.

So what have I tried to do to fend off this inevitable labeling and comparison of my kids?? For starters, I try to never identify one as the "(you fill in the blank) one." In actuality, they all take turns leading or being shy or being sensitive. And while one of them may tend to be more sensitive/shy/etc. than the other, it doesn't mean he/she is that way all the time.

I also try to make sure I play up their strengths. I strongly feel that their feelings of individuality will be enhanced if they can positively identify themselves with several things they excel at. This doesn't mean that I tell my kids how wonderful they are every minute (the weaknesses always need to be worked on as well), but I do want to make sure that if Sam is especially interested and good at drawing, I make sure that he knows it and that it is something that makes him unique.

Right now, the triplets are still young enough that I don't see much evidence of competition between them. I know this is coming sometime in the near future and I'm not looking forward to it. Both my husband and I are competitive people, so my guess is that our kids have a pretty good chance of being that way as well. Competition will be inevitable and I believe it is healthy on a certain level. However, I never want one of my children to feel devalued if they are not as good at something as one of their siblings is. Comparisons are inevitable in multiples (I've already succumbed to it myself in the comparisons of developmental milestones like walking and speech), and I believe I will have to be a strong influence on my kids to make sure the competition and comparisons don't develop into complicated rivalries as they grow older.

Overall, I just want my kids to grow up to be happy, well-adjusted people that each find their own specific things to pursue and excel at. I really don't care what their passion is, I just want them to find that passions for themselves. My delight will be in watching each of them become an individual who knows who he/she is and what he/she wants to pursue. I can only hope that they will have the best of both worlds: Individuality encased within the support of their multiple siblings.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Video of the Week - August 21

The next big fitness wave ... P90Toddler.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Super Heroes, They're Just Like Us

They get dressed for work every morning.

They do yardwork.

They fight traffic during the morning commute.

They eat afternoon snack.

They roll their eyes at the inconvenience that is the paparazzi.

Yup, those super heroes are just like us.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To Get Over The Hump

... that is Wednesday, we spent a little time at Reynolda Gardens this morning.

And a few more courtesy of my BFF, Instagram.

As always, we had to attempt a group shot. See if you can guess who has just learned to "cheese" it up in front of the camera.

But he grew tired of it after a while and I caught him in a moment of weakness, ha!

Hope you're doing something fun today to get over the Wednesday hump!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My New Love

I just got the kiddos' preschool teacher assignments in the mail the other day. When I opened them, my feelings oscillated between "Awww, I can't believe all four of my babies are going to school this year" to "Wahoo! When will September ever get here!?!" See, I have this love/hate relationship with summer. I look forward to it from about February to May because I am so sick of the cold and am ready for sundresses, playing outside, and vacation. But, admittedly, the allure of summer wears off right about the beginning of August. Vacations are mostly over, it's hot as blazes outside (though we are enjoying temperatures in the low 80's this week), and I am bordering on checking myself into psychotherapy with all the fights and whining I have to endure. August is THE WORST, and I am so glad that we are halfway through it!

My loathing for August and my Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde relationship with summer got me thinking about other love/hate relationships in my life. Of course there are the obvious ones. Cake, french fries, Chai Tea Lattes from Starbubcks, or anything that negates the time I spend working out is high on my list. Why do I have to like bad food so much? Another one is online shopping. I love being able to shop for things online so I don't have to drag four kids along, but it can be highly addictive and also annoying if you have to return things that don't work out. Also high on the list ... the emerging independence of the little people in our house. While I love to see them taking charge and wanting to do things on their own, it can get frustrating because it takes them soooooo long to do some things. Which basically means we have to start getting ready to leave the house about 30 minutes earlier than we used to. With all the extra time it takes for four kids to "do it myself", I'm going to have to start waking up earlier in the mornings so we can be on time once school starts again!

But y'all, I have recently discovered something that has debunked all of the love/hate relationships of my past. Something that promises to bring singing songbirds and rainbows into my life. Something that I cannot believe has taken someone so long to dream up (and why wasn't I the one to create it?). My new love/love relationship is with:

Lowes Foods To Go

Now I know that they've probably had this in all the big cities and towns for a decade or so, but it is new to me and that's all that matters. Basically, it combines one of my loves (online shopping) with one of my most dreaded tasks (grocery shopping). You get to shop for your groceries online and then set a time to drive in and pick them up. They actually bring the groceries TO YOUR CAR and load them up for you. And the kicker ... it's costs freakin' $4.95!!!Are you kidding me?!?! If you read my grocery post from last week, you know how I am feeling about this discovery. I do not see how there can be anything for me to not like about this. I know that getting the hang of it could be clunky and cumbersome, but WHO CARES?? I will be sitting on my butt eating bon bons in my pajamas while I grocery shop. And then I can wear those pajamas and my slippers to the store to pick up my groceries because they will deliver them right to my car!!! For FIVE measly bucks!!!

Now does anyone think we could figure out something similar that lets me eat cake without incurring the calories? I'm all ears ...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Picture of the Week - August 14

Bathing beauties handsome manly men ...

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Our most recent obsession ...


While I was initially glad they were all enjoying puzzles so much, I was also worried about how to keep up with their obsession. I mean, after you do a puzzle a few times it can get kind of mundane and boring, right?

"NOT SO!", says the child's mind.

Apparently, in toddler/preschool land, a puzzle becomes MORE fun the more times you do it. Maybe it's an exercise in confidence boosting? All I know is that I've got a bag full of new puzzles and four kids who want nothing to do with them. They'd rather play with the same original batch of puzzles that they've been playing with for the past few months instead of trying some new ones. What does this say about them ... the fact that they don't want to challenge themselves in favor of boosting their own confidence levels? I don't really know, but for now it means I get some money back!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Soccer Mom

I am WAY too young to be one of those. But here's what the kids have been wearing around the house for the last few days in anticipation of their first soccer practice that happens in, oh, A MONTH!

They are SO excited even though they just recently discovered what a soccer ball was (I guess tie-dye soccer socks can do all kinds of things to a girl's psyche). I tried to explain about the no-touching-the-soccer-ball-with-your-hands rule, but I just got quizzical looks in return. I guess I'll leave that to the coaches.

Now I'm off to Kohl's in the mini van to get my mom jeans so I'll be all set for the first practice in a few weeks. I'm sure they will be many updates to come on our soccer misadventures this fall. Stay tuned ...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Picture of the Week - August 7

Today's five minutes of quiet provided by your friendly neighborhood ride-a-mower.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rainy Friday

It was raining on and off all day Friday, but we still managed to fit in some fun. We tried out our new sensory box, which I stole from HERE.

It was a definite hit. The only problem was that the box was a bit small for four kids to share. I may be making a return to the dollar store to get another one so we can break it down to two kids per box. I'm always amazed how children can entertain themselves for such long periods of time with things as simple as pinto beans and cups!

We spent Friday night at the minor league baseball game. Luckily, the rain held off and kept the temperatures relatively cool. As is required for any baseball game, we stuffed ourselves with plenty of hotdogs. The kids enjoyed hanging out with lots of friends and taking the occasional peek at the game.

We were supposed to wear wristbands on the pavilion where party was, but restrictive devices and 2 year olds do not mix well.

On our way home, we happened to meet up with the team mascot. As it is with all large furry creatures and my children, it was love at first sight.

A great Friday even though the weather tried to hold us down. I'm hoping for a weekend that's just as fun!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grocery Fail

For some reason I occasionally have days where I feel unusually brave about tackling a certain duty or chore that normally scares me out of my mind. Things like going to the grocery store, the pool, or a movie with all four of the kiddos with me BY MYSELF. Today was one of those days. I don't know what prompted my sudden optimism, but it went south fairly quickly and I was reminded why I rarely do things like this.

Today's Challenge: The Grocery Store.

I'm a smart girl. Really, I am. But it still hasn't managed to get through my thick skull that there is a reason that the maximum number of children that can fit in a grocery store cart is three. There is no grocery cart designed to carry four children AND your groceries. So this should have been my first clue to STOP and turn around when I took the kids with me to the store this morning for a "quick trip." I only had 5 things on my list and I figured they would be ok just walking through the store with me for the 5 minutes it would take to get my items.


My problems began when we started in the produce section. I needed to quickly grab some apples and I continually kept reminding the kids to stay with me and NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! I also bribed them with the promise of chocolate milk throughout the trip. I am not above bribery in precarious situations people. When I was choosing my apples, I noticed that Luke was no longer there. As I started to scan the room, I spotted a tiny hand emerging from behind the gigantic display of oranges at the end of the aisle. Then I froze. Those chubby little fingers closed around an orange that was directly in the middle of the pyramid, the keystone orange. The one that, if it was removed, would cause the entire pyramid to come crashing to the floor in a mass of rolling citrus.

At that point, everything went in slow motion.

I lunged towards that hand, but it was too late. He held the orange proudly in his hand as waves of oranges started to pour down on either side of him. Luckily, we only lost about half of the display before the flow was stemmed. I rushed to clean up the oranges as quickly as I could, even replacing the one that Luke had pulled out and proceeded to take a bite of (yes, orange peel and all).

By the time I had cleaned up, the troops were scattered and creating even more mischief. The girls were over by the bakery checking out all the cakes while playing a fun new game called "Squishy Squishy" with all the freshly baked goods. The game title is pretty self-explanatory of what they were doing to the bread. Meanwhile, Luke had moved on to the apple and pear displays. He would take a bite out of one, chew it, replace it on the display, then take a bite out of the next one in line. Sam was near the greens, crying loudly. The store's automatic thunderstorm had just started (you know, when there's a thunder sound and then it "rains" on the vegetables ... I don't really get the point of this, but anyway) and he is deathly afraid of thunder. As soon as he heard it, he broke down and started screaming hysterically right next to the cabbage.

At this point, I seriously considered dropping my basket and running. But just as I made the turn I ran smack into one of the mothers from the triplets' preschool class who was there shopping with her two kids. They were happily sitting in a cart together munching away on popcorn. Not crying, not riddling 13 apples and pears with individual bites, and not smashing loaves of bread. I was mortified. She smiled nicely and said something to the effect of, "Well, I guess they don't make grocery carts for four, do they?"

I smiled sweetly. "Well no, I guess they don't!"

I then managed to wrangle up the kids and grab my last few items before checking out. I was actually pretty proud of myself that we kept going and finished the trip instead of just leaving after the produce section debacle.

So, the moral of the story is: DO NOT take four unrestrained 2 and 3 year olds to the grocery store. ESPECIALLY if you plan on spending any time in a section of the store where things are not bolted down or able to be squished or where there are frequent simulations of fake thunderstorms (so this pretty much rules out the entire store).

And after I post this I plan to craft and send a sternly worded letter to our grocery store about their blatant bias towards families who require a four-child grocery cart.

Monday, August 1, 2011


I lost one of my children this weekend.

It was only for a couple minutes, but it seemed like a lot longer than that. And I was pretty sure we would find her as soon as I realized she was gone. We were at church and she had to be within the confines of the building. She had only been gone for a matter of seconds before I realized I couldn't see her anymore. She couldn't have gotten far.

But I can't deny that slight panic started to set in once I had circled the room for a third time with no sign of her. I knew she was somewhere close, but where was she? While one of our friends watched the other kids, Matt and I spread out to look for her. It was only a matter of minutes before he spotted her in another part of the building, happily skipping off with a childcare worker who had noticed her wandering and was taking her to the children's area until they could locate us.

It wasn't a big deal, it really wasn't. But it's always things like that - small incidents that could have been something so much bigger - that get me thinking. The "what ifs" start to set in. What if I DID lose one of my children? What if I never saw one of them again? What would our family become? What would I become?

During times like these I'm reminded of how grateful I should be. Grateful that I have four beautiful, smiling, healthy children that I was never sure I would be able to have. Grateful that I have a husband who loves me for who I am and not for who I was or could be. Grateful for a God who keeps forgiving me and teaching me. Grateful for so many things that we often take for granted in our normal and ordinary everyday lives.

So every time I feel burdened or stressed, every time I feel like the whining and crying in my house is about to drive me to the breaking point, every time I think about how it would be SO MUCH easier to have fewer kids, I'm going to remember what it felt like - even if it was just for a few minutes - to have lost something as precious as one of my children. I'll remember that a silent house would be lonely and I would be empty. I'll remember the ache I felt in my chest and the panic knotted in my throat and I will be thankful for everything He has given me.

I'll be thankful for reminders like the one I had this past weekend.