Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

The Tale of a Sunday Park Mêlée June 28, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:03 pm

Babies are so interesting. Each day they are learning something new and doing something exciting to entertain their parents. When you have three babies growing up together at the same time it is fun to compare them and discover their similarities and differences. It seems with my three babies they do things very diffently and have unique and interesting little personalities.

Friday Elsa decided that she doesn’t prefer to be on her belly anymore and taught herself how to roll over. She has rolled from her stomach to her back twice now. When she gets to her back she takes her fist and shoves it into her large sized mouth and starts chewing on it.

Preston turned into a thumb sucker over the weekend. He is my only baby that would never take the binkie and last night he found his thumb and put himself to sleep sucking his thumb with all four fingers straight up in the air. In his time of discovering the thumb sucking technique I once caught him with one of the fingers all the way up his nose while the others were straight up in the air.

Violet continues to be a pokey eater and doesn’t want to poop. But what she does want to do is carry on a long conversation with anyone willing to listen. She also continues to sleep 3 hours at a stretch for naps during the day and 12 hours straight at night. I love her for that. Now she needs to talk to Elsa about how she does that. Violet’s fists continue to be the most important thing in her life. She marvels at them and adores them most of her days.

I have two Ava-isms this entry:
The first is said from one barbie to the other through Ava: “You can’t say words like soda or yoga or hate or if you do you will have to go in a time out with Donald Duck”.
The second Ava-ism is when she was at Gigi and Gramps’s house and she was looking out the window at the birds and she said “I wonder when I will be able to fly.”

Sunday Chris and I decided to venture out to the park with the whole family. We don’t do this very often and after Sunday, I know why. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was a disaster but a successful outing it was not. I packed a lunch for us and a few bottles and extra outfits for the babies, got Ava’s “hot rod” bike in the car and off we went to the park for a picnic. Ava could play in the park and ride her bike while the babies laid on the grass staring up at the smoke enhanced blue sky and contemplating the joy of infancy. In my park plan nobody was going to throw a temper tantrum and no one was going to cry or complain. It was going to be stress-free and enjoyable from beginning to end.

Well, first I forgot the spoons for our orzo salad that I brought for us to eat. Ding number one. Next we realized there was really only a tiny sliver of shade on the huge expanse of grass at the park, only big enough to barely cover three 10 pound infants. Ding number two. Then Preston and Elsa started crying hysterically. Elsa calmed down but Preston persisted. Dings number 3 and 4. Then came dings 5 through 10 which precipitated an end to the park excursion. Ava had a major meltdown over not being able to hold Sage’s leash due to inappropriate leash handling, which escalated into non-stop crying in a time-out and then led to being carried kicking and screaming to the car. Ava sat in the car and cried while we loaded three babies, who had since completely calmed down and were peacefully enjoying their first park experience (Violet was of course sound asleep on the blanket in the grass), into their car seats along with the four bags, hot rod and blankets into the car. Ava has taught me that three is definitely the new two.

The good part of this experience is that Chris and I didn’t get angry or depressed about our park outing and its accompanying misery. We simply chalked it up to a try and a miss. We are glad we tried and sad we missed. We will keep trying the outings and when we get one right we will deserve it and we will celebrate. This Friday, forth of July, we are all going across the street to our friend’s Bob and Angela’s for a barbecue pool party and I am optimistic for success.

Tomorrow is Chris and my 8 year anniversary. My parent’s are kindly coming over to watch the crew so we can go out to dinner. Eight years and four kids later, we are holding strong. I can’t imagine a different partner to share in this triplet experience and in this life. Happy anniversary to my kindred spirit.

Until next time. . . the mothership is signing off.


Ava-isms and Triplet Tangents June 24, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:37 pm

Yeah – we actually got to posting new pictures!! Someday maybe we’ll put a new slideshow on the blog. And the heading is a work in progress because that is Chris’s specialty.

Sometimes I open up this page to write and I don’t have any idea what I am going to write about. So many things happen each hour of each day of the week but much of it is not that exciting for the general public and then the rest of it I forget. I forget so much these days that this is a big reason I write in this blog. I want to have a journal of everything that is happening each week because these are special times and I know I will look back on them and be glad that I have recorded the details that make up this life with triplets and Ava.

Just yesterday Chris and I were showing Ava some video of her when she was 18 months old. I was shocked at how I had already forgotten what she was like at that age and just how cute she was before she could talk. Ha ha. But seriously, what precious video to have to remember those times and appreciate each stage of these little people’s lives. Now we just need to find some time to actually videotape the triplets!!

We may not have a lot of videotape of the kids right now but I do need to start writing Ava-isms down because they are coming at us fast and constant all day long. Ava-isms are the things she says are sometimes funny, sometimes so sweet, oftentimes sassy and always a little crazy. They are Ava-isms.
Today’s Ava-ism is:

“To love someone is to wish them your heart”

I thought that was pretty poetic for a 3 year old. I will also take a minute to brag and say that Ava randomly rattled off about 10 rhymes today (lake/take for instance) and then she said night and I thought she was going to rhyme it with light or tight or something but she said “morning . . . and those are opposites”. What??? Don’t ask me where she learns these things. And then she started naming off all the things that are opposites like wet and dry and up and down, left and right, hot and cold, front and back, happy and sad. She did about 20 of them. Then she started making us call something out like “long” and she would say the opposite. The child loves to learn things.

The babies are doing great. Preston is a sweet little boy who loves to sit on his activity mat all day and stare and bat at the animals hanging down and the lights and make little cooing sounds. His complaints are few and far between. He smiles a lot and talks softly. Elsa is definitely the fussiest and most high maintenance baby but she is so sweet and loving and cuddly. She likes to be held, which may be a product of her acid reflux and always having to be held upright. She also talks really softly and she coos with a gurgle in her throat. Violet is hilarious. She talks all the time and she talks so loudly, kind of like her big sister. It must be a red-headed thing. She stares at her fists most of her waking hours and talks loudly to anyone who will listen to her. She laughs and smiles all the time. When she is happy, she is very happy and when she is mad, she is very mad. Violet is very emotional already.

A couple nights ago when the kids were all in bed Chris asked me to describe our triplets each in only one word. We quickly jotted down our answers and interestingly we described Preston and Elsa in exactly the same way and Violet in a similar way. We both put down “sweet” for Elsa, “sensitive” for Preston and I put “dynamic” for Violet and Chris put down “funny”.

Last night Preston and Violet slept from 7:30pm to 7am. Elsa always wakes up around 2 or 3 in the morning to eat and then sleeps unsoundly until around 6. I am hoping when she grows out of her acid reflux she will sleep a little better because her naps are only mediocre as well. They are all-in-all very good sleepers and boy are we lucky for that. I told Chris today that our 4 month old triplets are already better sleepers than Ava is right now. Some kids just don’t sleep well I guess. I don’t think Ava can ever stop her mind and body from expending energy and settling down enough for a good long sleep.

Speaking of sleep, the mothership is going to try to get some . . .


Fatherhood and Spicy Black Beans June 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:18 pm

This is belated but I want to wish all those Father’s a Happy Father’s Day and especially my husband. I want to give Chris a little blog time right now because he deserves it. He is a great father. He is so loving to all four of his children and does a great job being a father to a highly spirited Ava Rose. He knows how to love her to pieces yet discipline her appropriately so she can be led down the right path in life. He puts Ava to bed every night and gets up with her and gets her breakfast every morning. He gets up with me in the middle of the night every night or early in the morning to feed the baby girls while I feed Preston. He is always present in all four of the kids’ lives and he loves them with all of his heart. Thank you for all you do Chris – you are indeed a wonderful husband and father.

I also want to mention my dad who is a great dad to me and grandfather to Ava. On Saturday when Chris and I were in a crunch with too many kids and adult responsibilities to take care of in one day, my dad came to the rescue and picked Ava up and spent the whole day with her. I can count on him for anything. Your the best dad!

Lastly but not least, I want to thank my father-in-law who comes up here and jumps right in feeding, clothing and even changing diapers when this is a task that he intensely dreads. He also plays with Ava and makes her feel special. Thanks Dick!

Yesterday was challening because I was tired and the babies were high maintenance. I couldn’t keep them on a schedule to save my life and Preston didn’t like the spicy black beans that I had Sunday night as well as for lunch on Monday. He has been spitting up and choking on it constantly and is unusually fussy. He hardly napped at all yesterday except for late in the afternoon and he wanted to be held. For both Preston and my sanity I will no longer be indulging in spicy black beans or anything spicy, or any kind of bean as long as I am breastfeeding. Everyone is better today. Elsa’s spitting up is actually improving and I am hoping that she is beginning to grow out the acid reflux. Violet is constipated and I don’t know why. I have to launch a fun little suppository up her bottom every day to get her to go poop. I can’t wait until that passes. She can’t either.

I am excited to report that Chris and I are getting all 4 kids in bed by 8pm every night. We feed them around 6:30-7 each night, swaddle them and put them in their cribs. They are in their own cribs now for space reasons as well as our effort to minimize babies waking each other up. Sometimes we put them in their cribs and they just sit there wide awake until they eventually doze off into dreamland. We have been doing the “dream feed” the last week which is getting them up at 10pm and feeding them practically in their sleep and putting them right back to bed. When we do this they wake up around 5 in the morning which is hard because Ava is up by 5:30 or 6 which means our day begins with the babies feeding at 5. Last night we opted out of the dream feed and just put them to bed at 8 and they slept until 3. It is easier just to feed them at 3am and then they sleep until 6:30 or 7. Of course, Violet likes to sleep in until 8 or 9.

The other day I got out the little seats that babies can sit up in as long as they can hold their heads up. I put Violet in one and Preston in the other and had them face each other. It was as if they discovered each other for the first time. Violet turned to Preston and almost did a double take. Then she started jabbering away to him and telling him her entire life story. Preston just sat there with his head cocked to one side because it is so big he can’t hold it up all the way, and grinned at her like she was pretty interesting. It was so darn cute and this is what my fellow triplet mom says makes having multiples so special. I can’t wait until they are all friends and love each other and Ava. Ava already loves them and is just waiting until they are old enough to play with her and talk to her.

My life becomes increasingly busy as the babies are awake more but still not on a consistent wake/nap cycle yet. I run around all day like a madwoman and at about 5pm I finally feel like I might have caught up on my life. I have accepted this. I look forward to sitting down and having a nice long rest one day — maybe for say just one day. That will be nice.

Until then… the mothership is on duty and signing off.


Instinctual Malfunction June 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:28 pm

I am a big believer in the “go with your instincts” philosophy. If something doesn’t feel right deep down in your gut then it probably isn’t. Unfortunately Chris and I did not follow our instincts today.

Our morning started off with a 7:45am GI Specialist appointment for Elsa to follow-up on her acid reflux. The appointment went fantastic and Elsa is growing exactly as she should be and the doctor was very impressed with her. Yes, she still spits up a ton and makes herself miserable and more laundry around our house but she is healthy and growing as she should be. The acid reflux could end up delaying Elsa’s development a little just because of the mere fact that she spends so much of her day spitting up her food. Watching her every day I can tell you that it does make sense that this would be the case.

At 11am we had a doctor’s appointment for all the babies at which time they were going to get their two month shots — we delayed them a month and a half because of their prematuraty. We had gone back and forth for months on what to do about their vaccinations. Do we split them up so there aren’t so many shots at one time? Do we delay them another month? There are so many conflicting opinions on what we should do and ultimately we delayed their vaccines 1 1/2 months and went with our pediatricians recommendation to give them all of them – a total of seven vaccinations done in three pricks. This morning though, we were second guessing whether we should give them all today or split them up and Chris was thinking we should just split them up because they are still too little. This is Elsa’s GI Specialists’ opinion also and she is the mother of twins and a very smart lady.

The appointment initially went well, with their doctor very pleased with the triplets growth and health. Preston weighs a whopping 10 pounds, 3 ounces. Elsa weighs 8 pounds 15 ounces and Violet weighed in at 9 pounds 11 ounces. Preston and Violet are on the regular (babies who were born at their due date) chart at 10% for height and weight. Elsa is at 5%. We are very happy and the doctor said we must be doing something right.

Then they each got three shots – two in one leg and one in the other. They screamed bloody murder. But then the screaming stopped shortly and they seemed to be okay with it. We came home and Ava, Violet and I went to the pool party at Angela’s house where I sat in total relaxation for almost 2 hours while Ava swam her heart out and Violet was being held by my friends Lauri and Dawn. It was enjoyable for a time.

And then we came home and the madness began. It was obvious they were all feeling a lot of pain in their little legs and every time Laura and I moved them or they moved their legs they would literally scream out in pain. I felt so sad for them. All three of them were having a terrible reaction to the shots. Not an allergic reaction but it was just too many vaccinations for their little bodies. This was confirmed for me with a phone call to a pediatrician in the group we go to who said that maybe with babies this small we should’ve just waited on some of the vaccination. This is when we realized that we should’ve listened to ourselves and our feelings that the vaccinations should’ve been split up. As Oprah says, if we had known better we would’ve done better. Now we have three miserable babies who are on steady doses on infant Tylenol to control their pain. We are hoping they feel better tomorrow.

Luckily there will be no lasting effects from our instinctual malfunction and in the end we found that we have three healthy babies despite the fact that they were born 6 weeks too early. I am proud of them. They are great little people.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


The Babies’ First Wedding and Other Ramblings

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 2:05 am

As I sit here and write this I am eating my dinner. There is no such thing as eating dinner at the dinner table these days. Usually Chris and I switch off eating because there are babies to tend to. Between 5 and 8 is a difficult time at the Woolsey house with babies who need to eat and a big sister who needs her dinner and then to go to bed. The babies are also very awake at these hours, as most babies are. It is the witching hours but luckily most of the time there is no actual “witching” happening, just a bunch of wide awake babies who want to be held.
As I write this I have dishes and groceries everywhere, a load of laundry in the wash, an unmade bed, bjorns and baby slings strewn around the house, a chicken carcass hanging out on the kitchen counter from dinner and dirty bottles in the sink. The sad part is that Costco was only one of two grocery trips that need to be made today and it is already 7pm. Chris will still need to go to the grocery store later today to pick up all the staples we need to eat over the next week. I am not complaining. I am stating the facts and I am very resigned to the fact that this is now my life. Oh believe me I have my moments of fantasy where I dream of my African safari in 2001 or my tour of the French countryside from Paris to Aix in 2003. Oh yes I do remember those days.

A few months ago I went for a checkup with my perinatologist Dr. Gilbert who is about 6 feet 5 inches and in his early 50s. He said he wanted to follow-up with me in a month but that he would be out of the country. “Where are you going?” Chris and I querried with the beginnings of drool forming in the corner of our mouthes. Dr. Gilbert said that he doesn’t have any children, but what he does have are two houses that he owns and rents out in the south of France. So, I waited a couple of months before I could bring myself to look up http://www.myfrenchfarmhouse.com because I knew once I saw it I would want more than anything to be at his French farmhouse. So a few days ago I brought up the website and was introduced to “Les Volets Bleus” — as the good doctor so lovingly calls his French Farmhouse. I feasted my eyes on that beautiful stone house with the bright blue shutters and dreamed that Chris and I were lounging by the wonderful looking pool on the cozy lounge chairs. No crying. No whining. Just silence and relaxation.

And then I realized that it was only a dream and that one day maybe we could take the whole family to Les Volets Bleus and it would be so much more fun watching our kids play with each other in the pool than just the two of us sitting there by ourselves. Dr. Gilbert may have two French farmhouses in the countryside that are spectacular but I have four beautiful healthy children and a lifetime of memories to make with them. Besides, when they get older they will buy Chris and I our own French farmhouse and we will retire there. Oh, was I dreaming again?

Well, the wedding last Saturday was beautiful and wonderful and we love Kaely and Daniel and are so happy they got married. Ava was grumpy because she fell asleep in the car 5 minutes before we got to the wedding and she was already overtired. She managed to make it down the aisle but we all endured about four meltdowns over the course of the night. The babies were fabulous. My plan of passing off babies and having a nice relaxing time worked marvelously. The babies never complained once they had fully bellies. They made it through the whole wedding and reception wide awake except for Preston, my momma’s boy, who slept on my chest in a bjorn the better part of the evening.

Last night was the first night we shipped all the babies up to their nursery to sleep. We realized right away what a peaceful quiet environment it is up there and were sure the babies would appreciate in some unspoken way the serenity of their nursery. They slept well, Preston until 2:30am and the girls slept until 4:30am. Even Ava slept well until 6am without waking up. Chris and I think Ava will do better knowing that she has all her siblings upstairs sleeping with her and that she is not by herself up there.

Well, Ava, Violet and I are off to a pool party at Angela’s house this afternoon. Violet is my chosen baby for this outing since Preston always gets to go everywhere being the nurser he is. This way I can run home (across the street) and nurse him when it is time. I am sure Violet will spend the whole time at the pool party staring at her fists like she did yesterday during her waking hours. So cute.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Light at the End of the Tunnel June 4, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:19 am

Our sweet precious babies are sleeping the whole night! At only 3 months they are sleeping from 8 or 9 pm to 4:30ish in the morning. Sometimes Violet sleeps in until 6am. Our eldest is so exhausted from her summer camp at Country Days Preschool this week that she is in bed and asleep by 7pm and actually sleeps through the night to 5:30 or 6am. We are finally getting some sleep in this house. There is light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, time is going by so quickly that I am trying to enjoy the babies while they are little and sweet and can’t talk with their sassy mouth yet. They are getting so big that they actually fit into the clothes that they are supposed to fit into.

The domestics (aka Dick and Sherri) are leaving today which means I will have to wash my own dishes, do my own laundry and tend to all my children without all the other arms to help. And they are good company and conversationalists to boot.

My babies are spoiled with attention right now with the domestics in town and they are talking and smiling like crazy. They are starting to like to look at toys. Elsa rolled over from her stomach to her back this morning. Preston is just as sweet as can be and will just sit for an hour in his crib and watch his mobile go around and around. He is a momma’s boy and I love it. Violet likes to carry on long conversations with facial expressions and all. They are starting to take 4 oz. at each feeding and we are trying to stretch their feeding times out to 4 hours instead of 3.

The kids and Chris and I have a big weekend of wedding festivities coming up. Auntie Kaely and Uncle Daniel, our fabulous friends, are getting married this weekend and it will be a big social outing for the triplets. They are getting all dressed up in their coordinated outfits because that is just part of the fun of having triplets. Ava will be wearing her flower girl dress which is just too adorable. We will post pictures after Saturday. The minivan will be packed to the hilt I am sure with the massive amount of paraphernalia necessary to take all these kids to a wedding. I plan on doing what I like to do when around a lot of people at parties – let everyone else take care of the babies while I eat and drink it peace. You have to take these opportunities to relax and enjoy when possible and no one can resist holding sweet babies so I never have a shortage of volunteers. It is a win win situation.

Well, despite my help and my better sleeps I am tired today. The two cups of coffee and Starbucks mocha haven’t helped me much. I am going to plant a few pots in the backyard while the monkeys are sleeping.

Go Obama!!! Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Until next time, the mothership is siging off. . .