Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Try-Outs, Tantrums and Triplet Play April 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 2:55 am

Great Grandpa with Elsa Marin practicing walking

Lots of kids playing in the playroom on Easter Sunday

Ava finding her eggs in our neighborhood park

The triplets watch from the runabout stroller as Ava
hunts for eggs. Next year they will join in the fun.

Preston in his Easter Sunday best

This is what my kids look like after each meal. Cleanup
is a lot of work!

Beautiful Elsa

Elsa showing off her walking skills

We just had to take a picture of this sweet boy napping

The girls are behind bars once again

Ava at her swim try-outs yesterday

I have been receiving a fair amount of complaints about a long lag time between blog postings from places as far away as Australia. I don’t have any good excuses other than my normal four kids under four excuse. I am basically unmotivated to use my brain in any way right now and since the weather has been so beautiful I spend every amount of extra time I have outside summerizing my house. It is interesting to realize how much guilt I feel when it has been past a week and I have not updated my blog.
So, where shall I begin in recapping the last couple weeks raising all these kids. Today I picked up Ava and as I was making the long walk from the car to the gate where I retreive her I hear her yelling something in her little excited voice. As I get closer I realize she is yelling at me that for her art project today they took a whole fish and used it to paint with. Hmmmmm. What? Oh yes, Miss Teri bought an entire Talapia fish and the kids took that fish carcasse, slapped it in some different paints and worked that lifeless body into the paper to create quite an impressive work of art that is now hanging on our wall. Fish art. Gross, but very cool at the same time.

This evening at 5:30 Ava had try-outs to be on the Sharks swim team. Ava was trying out for the 6 and under and if she swam well enough she would be placed on the actual swim team where they compete every Saturday in what has been described to me as “tent city”. If the coaches determine Ava needs quite a bit of work on her swimming she would be placed in the “mini sharks” where she would not really race and it would not be as competitive. Chris and I have been working this day up all week and Ava has taken the bait. She is all about the Sharks and swimming on the swim team and doing the best she can today at the try-outs and above all, having the most fun possible. So, we show up at the pool and there are tons of little Sharks 6 and under ready to show their stuff. I am a nervous mom. I am not nervous because I care one stinking bit whether Ava is a mini-shark or a big Shark. I am nervouse that in the moment of pressure, Ava with only 4 1/2 years of emotional maturity under her belt, will crumble. Maybe she will refuse to swim in the pool when it is her turn. Maybe she will start to swim when people start to cheer for her she will do her standard “don’t clap” bit. Oh, let me count the ways that this moment can turn bad. It is funny though, because in all the ways I played out the bad scenarios in my head I had not thought of the one that actually happened.

Well, Ava did briefly disclose to me prior to her try-out that she had a stomach ache. I computed the comment and promptly pushed it to the recesses of my brain. Ava got into the pool and swam her little heart out. She swam the crawl better than I have ever seen her swim. Believe me, her technique needs a lot of work, but that little girl just hopped right in that pool and swam her best to one of the instructors and back with huge confidence. The mothership was proud. She got out of the pool and then she started acting strange. I wrapped her in a towel and she layed on my lap and didn’t want anyone to talk to her and did not want to have a sleepover at Gigi and Gramps’ house – unheard of. I started to get annoyed. What is wrong with this child? Does she always have to be so difficult? She just landed herself a spot on the Sharks swimteam (not the mini Sharks) and had a great time doing it and now with the attitude. So, we got up and walked out of the pool area and Ava barfed two huge barfs on the lawn right outside the pool for all the future Sharks and their moms to see. Ava had the stomach flu. When you are a parent you can just never predict how your life is going to play out minute by minute. The good news is that Ava is officially a Shark and she is going to have a great summer filled with swim lessons and swim meets.

Over the last couple of weeks Chris and I brought in landscapers to rip out our big Redwood trees that were in the back corner of our yard and replace them with a big piece of lawn fully fenced in. Now we have a place for the kids to play all summer. I had already acquired a cool slide play unit from a fellow triplet mom and have a few other fun summer items to fill up the lawn area and provide the kids a safe place (away from the pool and concrete) to play all summer. I think it will end up being a very good investment.

On to the babies. The babies are now 14 months old which is unbelievable. Nobody is walking yet but Elsa takes about 5 steps before she falls. She is going to be up and walking any day now. Just today I actually saw her try and walk on her own initiative which told me that she is going to be walking on her own very soon. Preston could walk if he had the confidence but I’ve learned that Preston takes things very slowly and doesn’t do anything until he can do it very well. Violet. Oh sweet Violet. She probably will be about 16 months before she walks because she doesn’t show much interest and I think because her left foot turns in when she stands. Our pediatrician assures me that there is nothing wrong with her feet and that once she starts walking her muscles will strengthen and her foot will straighten out.

My days have been filled with lots of cute triplet moments lately. The best one happened about a week ago. I was in Ava’s bedroom watching the baby girls play. Elsa was doing funny things and Violet was laughing hysterically at her. When Elsa realized she was making Violet laugh she would repeat what she was doing and Violet would laugh hysterically again and then Elsa would join in and laugh at herself. Elsa would make funny noises, girate her body, throw herself on the ground and Violet would laugh like it was the funniest thing she has ever seen in her entire life. When they were winding down the comedy show, Violet had been laughing so hard she was trying to catch her breath. I then saw Violet crawl over to Elsa and wrap her little arms around Elsa’s neck and give her a big hug. It was as if Violet was saying, “thanks for making me laugh Elsa. Thanks for making my day bright.” It made me want to cry because it was so sweet and cute. This is the stuff that makes having multiples so special.

Tonight when Chris and I were at the swim meet with Ava and Laura was watching the babies for us, apparently Preston and Elsa played peek-a-boo with each other for 10 minutes. They are are really enjoining (as Ava would say) each other these days.

Of course Ava is all the babies’ one wild woman comedy show. Her sisters and brother find her hysterical and Ronin thinks Ava is just about the best thing on Earth. Ava was throwing a bag of wipes across the room the other day and Ronin was laughing so hard I could not believe it. It is the simple things that kids do that is so entertaining to babies I guess. Us adults are so boring. I don’t suppose you see many adults throwing a bag of wipes across the room very often, although I am sure it has happened in those not so proud mommy moments. I have had those moments but instead of wipes it was one of those candle lighters. Don’t ask.

Another funny thing that happened tonight is that Violet threw her first legitamite tantrum. Chris showed up in front of the playroom and then left apparently without saying goodbye to Violet. Violet threw her little body down on the ground in a fit of hysteria and instead of kicking her arms and legs she rolled herself around the whole playroom. Everytime I looked at her she would elevate the tantrum and do another couple of rolls. It was absolutely hysterical. I tried so hard not to laugh out loud so Violet wouldn’t think I wasn’t taking her tantrum seriously. But I did enjoy watching the tantrum for about 3 minutes before I picked her up and saved her from another series of screaming rolls around the room.

Today is the 2 year anniversary of our little friend Trevor Austin Kott’s death. Trevor is Bob and Angela’s son and Kendall and Lauren’s brother. He died of leukemia two years ago today. He was a special little boy. If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to get swabbed and placed in the bone marrow registry. If Trevor had found his bone marrow match he may still be with us today. Maybe you could be the match and save somebody’s life. Go to http://www.trevorkott.com/ and click on Be The Match for more information.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

Tales from the Tropics April 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:11 am

When the masses found out I was pregnant with triplets I endured 7 months of people’s perspectives on my situation, ranging from how blessed and lucky I am to a variety of negative comments such as “I would kill myself if I were having triplets” (that is a direct quote). One of the common themes among those around me with opinions on my triplets was that we would “never” go on a vacation again. Never. Being a travelers of sorts, Chris and I took this comment like a giant dagger to the heart. The very top on my list of hobbies or passions has always been traveling and I lost a lot of my traveling ability when Ava was born, yet we still went to Hawaii twice, London once and a variety of noteworthy trips on our very own continent. This limited (for us) amount of traveling was part of my sacrifice for having a child, and I was making this sacrifice without complaining . . . well, without complaining all the time. So, when I heard the whispers behind my back at parties or to my face about how we would never go anywhere again for a LONGGGG while, I woke up at night wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Well, fast forward a year and some change and we have indeed been able to make our first trip – short but very sweet. It was not without drama so I shall be kind and rewind a bit.

As I mentioned briefly before our departure, all the kids fell very ill on the Saturday before the trip which gave me horrible anxiety to the future of Hawaii and whether it would happen afterall. The day before we left Elsa got a diaper rash that was so bad it was hard to even look at. Her little bottom looked like it had third degree burns from the terrible antibiotics she was on that was giving her diarhhea and then the searing diaper rash. We tried every cream out there – A&D, Butt Paste, antibiotic cream that I had leftover from their time in the NICU, Desitin, Desitin Overnight — it was fruitless. Elsa was on antibiotics until Thursday night and so we would all just have to hope that the diarhhea would stop shortly thereafter (by the way, in the past two weeks I have had to spell the word diarhhea so many times and I still can’t figure out if there are two “r’s” or two “h’s”. The word is plagueing me kind of like Kindergarten does).

We left on the plane at 6:50am on Thursday morning. Elsa’s diaper rash persisted through Thursday and by Friday she had a strange and mysterious rash the covered most of her body and apparently new spots could virtually be seen appearing. By Friday night Dick and Sherri came down with a wicked bad stomach flu that lasted until Monday morning complete with vomit and that lame “D” word that I am forced to write too often. The Supernanny’s were called in for extra hours while the Domestics barfed and moaned in our bedroom most of the day.

When relayed the news of the persisting diaper rash, the emerging all over skin rash and the in-laws expelling bodily fluids out of a few different orifaces while I was in our beautiful hotel room overlooking our beautiful pool that overlooked the spectacular ocean, I was faced with two options: sheer panic leading to potentially ruining my vacation mode; or calm, realizing that Elsa’s skin will heal and I am sure Dick and Sherri will recover from the stomach flu and be able to take care of my three babies mode. I chose calm mode and took it in in stride knowing that Elsa was in good hands and Dick and Sherri were covered by my wonderful nanny’s until they felt better. So, I put down the phone, grabbed my book in one arm and sunscreen in the other, found myself a delightful lounge chair in the sun and ordered myself a $14 Mai Tai which was $14 because it was actually the upgraded version of a Mai Tai with upgraded rum called the Tai Chi. I said a silent toast to Dick, Sherri, Kathy and Laura for stepping in and making my vacation worry-free and peaceful despite its ups and downs.

By Monday everyone was looking up at home and my vacation was almost coming to a close. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to leave my house and the normalcy of life to escape even briefly to paradise with Chris, Ava, Angela, Kendall and Lauren. The fact that I was so very excited to go on vacation with Ava and considered that a peaceful and relaxing proposition tells me two things: one, that my perspective in life has changed; two, that Ava has changed. Whereas not long ago a vacation would’ve been sans Ava, now just having Ava is a huge break for me. This is also the first trip with Ava that I have felt confident that I could count on pretty decent behavior from her on the airplane, in restaurants, shopping or wherever our vacation led us. At 4 1/2, I feel like I have finally made it to a good place with Ava. She was so great on the airplane and very impressive in the restaurants. Ava’s good behavior in restaurants was especially impressive considering that she has limited experience in restaurants since I banned her from going with us out to eat following a number of bad experiences and ending with a complete bail out of a restaurant booth onto the floor resulting in a major meltdown.

One night the Hyatt was having a hula dancing night which began with a Hawaiian band. We settled ourselves in the giant outside lobby area and ordered some drinks and food. While the band was up on stage playing, Ava, Kendall and Lauren decided that they would go up in front of everyone and show off their hula skills. It was the cutest thing I think I have ever seen. What really impressed me was these little girls’ ability to get up in front of all those people without being shy and put on their best Hawaiian moves. It was so good that the man from Texas at the next table who told us people think he looks like Jimmy Buffet, came up to us and commended us on our hula dancing daughters. Later that night, obviously impressed by Ava’s talent as a hula dancer, 5 1/2 year old Finley chased Ava around the lobby and then later proclaimed “I have a crush on you”. Ava said “I don’t know what that means.” She proceeded to ignore his advances for the rest of our time at the Hyatt.

Ava, Kendall and Lauren were like three sisters the whole trip, playing nonstop, laughing, swimming, resting together. It warmed my heart. Angela and Chris and I had rooms right next to each other so the girls ran back and forth from room to room all day sharing stories, showing off island wear and eating peanut butter off of spoons.

Our days were mostly spent at the beach or by the pool watching the girls go down the water slide a bazillion times. One day we took a trip up to Princeville to a favorite spot of ours called Queens Bath where we hiked in the mud down to some lava rock and hopped rocks to a perfect little swimming hole called Queen’s Bath. I learned something very interesting about Ava that day; Ava does not like mud. Chris insisted that Ava where her crocs on the walk and since we were hiking in rain there was a lot of mud. When the mud got through the holes in the Croc sandals and on Ava’s feet she freaked out. No amount of “it’s just dirt”, or “God made dirt and dirt don’t hurt” would calm her down. Her reality was that she doesn’t like dirt and mud on her body and now her feet were covered in it and she was actually having to walk on her own muddy feet. We finally got her calmed down and enjoying our walk through paradise when the unfortunate happened. I was holding Ava’s hand to help her down a slippery muddy place when I slipped and instead of me falling in the mud I took Ava down. Well, this was a complete nightmare to my mudophrenic-inflicted child. She now had mud all over her feet and her hands and parts of her leg. She lifted her hands up in horror to show me and it looked like she was going to take part in a really fun craft project that involved brown paint and hand stamping. She freaked. I laughed. I couldn’t help it, it was just so darn funny.

We got down to Queen’s Bath, ducking under a few rocks to try and avoid the downpours, and the girls and Chris and I enjoyed a little swim in the bath. It was so nice and there were great fish in there. In fact, there was one man swimming casually looking at fish through his goggles when the girls decided to throw some coco puffs in for the fish and the coco puff landed right in front of this mans goggles and boy did he get a show. That made me laugh really hard too. Ahhh kids.

By day we relaxed and by night we got prettied up and went out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Our trip to Kauai was truly a wonderful one and thank you Angela for inviting us and thank you Dick and Sherri for making it happen for us.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

Bon Voyage April 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:33 pm

Ava and Violet – 2 peas in a pod

My sweet boy

The babies LOVE playing in their big sister’s bedroom

Elsa Marin

Violet June – she is such a love

Their first popsicles. They could take em or leave em.

All three of them are always stealing off of each other’s trays

Aloha! We are headed to Kauai bright and early tomorrow morning and I am still in disbelief that we are going. Seriously. I told Chris this morning that I will be happy when we are on the plane because for now it is still surreal and I have so much to do to get ready. Plus, I have never ever left my babies and I feel a little sad about that. I very much need the break from the babies and my hectic lifestyle here at the house, but I will miss those sweet little babies so much when I am away from them. And I know they will miss me also. But, once I am poolside or oceanside with a book in one hand and a mai tai in the other I think I will be okay.

This is what our kitchen counter looked like all week last week – our very own pharmacy. First, everyone had the ear infections and bronchitis and blah blah blah. Then, all the kids got a bout of the stomach flu and last Saturday was one of the most miserable days we have had yet. All the babies were throwing up and had terrible diarrhea. Elsa is on a new antibiotic because the other one never cleared up her ear infection. Well, the new antibiotic gives her even worse diarrhea than the stomach flu did and it has given her a diaper rash like I have never seen on a kid before. She is miserable. On Saturday Ava had a 102 fever on top of everything else and she was really sick. It was a horrible day and I just kept thinking – oh god, please get better by Thursday when we leave for Hawaii. Well, today Elsa is still miserable from a terrible diaper rash and I have a call in for something to help her, but all the other kids are doing much better thank goodness.
Dick and Sherri are in training as we speak, getting a final boot camp to know exactly how to take care of three babies at the same time. They have been here so much in the past that they have a pretty firm grasp on the routine, but as the babies get older, the routine changes. For instance, they are no longer taking any formula, only whole milk, and only twice a day as opposed to four times a day. They all like to climb up the stairs on their own now which is so cute to watch. Anyway, everyday brings something new with 3 13 month old babies. Chris and I are eternally grateful to Dick and Sherri for taking care of our babes while we go on vacation.
Well, I have too much to do so I guess I will go to work – there are mani pedis for Ava and I to be done today and then we have to get our hair done, etc. etc. Oh, and somewhere in there I will pack and get ready to go!
Until next time, the mothership is signing off. Aloha!