Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Graduation, Walking and Near Drowning: A Week In the Life of the Woolsey 6 May 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:48 pm

The fabulous four. We took pictures as quickly as we could
before they started taking off.

Sweet Elsa

Sweet Preston

The wild red heads


They love each other


Ava after her swim meet

Ava gearing up to jump in the pool for her time trial

Waiting for her time trial

The triplets are a crowd pleaser

We put the new forward facing Radian 85 car seats in and it
a little easier on us than lugging those infant seats in and out
of the bases in the back.
This is our crazy playroom with all the kids doing their own
thing. This is the scene at some point of our day every day.

Our funny little Vi – Vi.

Using that pointer finger is Violet’s specialty

My boy

He’s walking!

The girls love to play together. I love Violet’s mullet.

Ava gets extreme joy when one of her siblings cuddles with her.

Country Days graduation

Ava receives her diploma from Miss Teri and Miss April

There are so many new happenings that I don’t even know where to begin. The weather is beautiful and the babies and Ava are busier than ever.

Last week was a big week for us. Ava had her timed trials for swimming and we brought all the babies to watch. I had brought them all the day before by myself (although my sister and grandma Jan came so I had help) and it was a big success. The babies loved being out with all the people and excitement and exploring a new environment. I have learned with three babies (I guess they are technically toddlers but they just seem like babies to me still) that each day is different and unpredictable and while the babies did really well the day before, they were setting each other off the day of the time trials. Alas, we watched as Ava swam her little heart out all the way across the pool. She gave it her all and when we greeted her at the other end she got out of the pool and the first thing she said is “did I win?” She is a competitor. I explained to her about how they were all winners because they tried their best and swam all the way across the pool. She looked at me and said “but did I win?” Yes, you won. Sometimes it is just easier that way. We were very proud of her. She even got up on the platform that you dive off of and got in her best diving stance and then jumped in and swam to the other end of the pool.
Last Friday we had Ava’s graduation from Country Days Preschool where she went for two years of her little life. She was only just 3 when she started going there and she was such a baby. As I watched her graduate on Friday with all of her friends that she has made in class, I couldn’t help but tear up as we transition from the days of arts and crafts and playing on the farm at Preschool, to Kindergarten where she will be a big girl reading books and working on math. I am excited for Ava to go to Kindergarten because she is more than ready, but sad to think we will not make that morning drive to Country Days anymore, and that I won’t walk with her past the horses, goats and chickens to the house where I leave her in the loving care of Miss Teri and Miss April. Well, there are three spots waiting for the triplets if I decide to put them in a few years from now. Maybe we will be back!
After the graduation, one of Ava’s preschool friends had a pool party at their house and there was a pool and a big blow up castle slide. It seems like nothing in my life is completely free from drama, and this day proved that. The kids were having a blast all afternoon. We transitioned from the blow up water slide over to the pool. Most of the moms were sitting around the side of the pool while the kids swam. Ava is a pretty good swimmer and I never really worry much about her in the pool. She had been playing with the pool noodles with her friends for about ½ an hour when I heard Ava crying. I looked all the way across to the other side where there is a vanishing edge and I saw that Ava looked like she was in distress. My brain was confused. I could hear Ava crying and going under the water. I got up and ran around to the other side of the pool and saw Ava going under the water again. There was another kid right next to her so it was hard to see what was going on. I jumped into the pool with all my clothes on and went to rescue Ava. When I pulled her over to the side I asked her what was going on. She said that her friend was pulling her under the water by her hair. I know her friend wasn’t trying to drown Ava but I think he was trying to get onto the noodle and was using Ava as leverage. Perhaps when he saw Ava panicking because she was being pulled under he panicked also and pulled her down more. I was shaken. I could not sleep that night. It was so unbelievably scary. I do think that everything happens for a reason though, and that happened to remind me that no matter how great a swimmer your child is, you must always keep a close eye on them in water because accidents come in all different forms.
Onto less frightening topics, Elsa and Preston are walking but they still choose to crawl most of the time. The point is that they CAN walk and they need practice to get good at it. I may have to take away their push toys so they aren’t so reliant on those instead of walking on their own. Elsa continues to love the men. If my dad is around (Gramps), Elsa has absolutely no need for me whatsoever. In fact, Elsa would practically choose a man she hardly knows over a woman she knows well. It is strange but I do get a lot of amusement over it. Preston is still totally a mama’s boy. I think he always will be and I will always be happy about it. Violet loves those who she knows but has intense stranger danger. If someone Violet doesn’t know comes within a few feet of her while she is in her booster seat for a meal she will have a complete meltdown. But if she knows you, she loves you wholeheartedly.
We spent Memorial Day at Bob and Angela’s today with Gigi and Gramps, Auntie and Uncle Nima and Ronin and our good neighbor friends. It was hard managing all those kids around the pool and various outdoor dangers, but all my peeps stepped in and held babies and kept Elsa from drowning in the pool etc. etc. It is a crazy time in the world of parent’s of 15 month old triplets and an almost 5 year old. There are always one or two kids having a hard day because of lack of sleep (Ava) or teething but I can see in a few years things will get easier. I recently learned that Dr. Drew has teenage triplets and he said in an interview that the first five years were a killer but it got so much easier after that. I wouldn’t say our life is that hard but we have those days where Chris and I will just randomly throw something across the room out of stress and frustration. It does make us feel better to throw something and usually we can regroup after that little release. Saturday Chris chose a frozen teething ring to throw across the room and I usually prefer to throw something that I find in the kitchen. There is no need to say anything when this happens. We both understand.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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Kid Personalities May 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:27 pm

These lazy little triplets still aren’t walking and it beginning to drive me crazy! I think the problem is that they are such proficient crawlers that they find no real need to evolve to the walk. Plus, they see their siblings crawling and I think they just follow each other. Elsa is closest to walking. She could walk if she would practice more but I feel like she views walking as a funny trick rather than a necessity of life. Preston could absolutely walk if he wanted to, but Preston does everything in his own sweet time and I guess it is not his time. Violet is practicing to be the fastest crawling toddler on the West Coast. She will hopefully be walking by the time she is 18 months old.

Most people tell me that all hell is going to break lose (in their opinion) when the triplets begin to walk. They will be going in all different directions and I will be chasing after them like a maniac. These people don’t have multiples. The truth is that they are already doing that with their crawling. The truth is that I cannot wait for these kids to get up off of all fours and walk so I can have them walk places behind me instead of picking them up and carrying them to get them from A to B. Yes, they could crawl but it isn’t the fastest method of transportation so mainly I have to carry them. Instead of carrying two babies to their seats for lunch or downstairs I can just grab them by the hands and walk with them.

In other news, Chris is gone the entire week again which leaves me managing the household with the help of Nanny Laura and Nanny Kathy of course. But it is hard because my morning starts at 6am and there are the needs of the babies and then there are the needs of Ava. Ava needs her warm apple cider (when is that going to end?), breakfast, to get dressed for school, and her hair done (lots of screaming and overdramatics). The babies need their morning bottle, the first round of diaper changes, the second round of poopy diaper changes, breakfast, and lots of attention. Somewhere in there I have to get dressed and make myself look at least semi-decent for the preschool dropoff at 8:45. Mornings by myself are crazy. I must say that after I drop Ava off I go to Starbucks and sit down with my coffee and feel that I have really accomplished something. What, I am not sure. But something.

Then there are the nights by myself which is basically like the mornings except I have to put 4 kids to bed by myself. I am really lucky though because putting my kids to bed is easy. They all go right down and hardly complain. I have trained them well.

As you can probably imagine, the triplets don’t get out much after about 5pm. In fact, I don’t know if they have been out on the town at all past 5pm since our disastrous experience at Islands when they were 3 months old. Anyway, we decided to take the whole family to Blue Oak Elementary School’s (Ava’s school for K-5) for a Spring Fling. There was a band, food, bounce houses, games, etc. We fed the babies their dinner and bottle by 5:30pm and headed out to the Spring Fling with our Choo Choo wagon. We had so much fun. The babies were in awe of the loud music, all the people around and just sat in their wagons and observed. They were great little people. We left at 7pm and chalked the experience up to a success. It was nice to go somewhere with the whole family.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! I had a very nice day. First of all I got to sleep in which was to 7am and then lay in bed and wake up nice and slowly – a real luxury for me. Then, Chris presented the most beautiful hand made accordian style card/scrapbook with pictures, poems and cards from himself and from Ava. It was so special. My mom and I went and got a facial that morning and then went and had a sandwhich. It was so nice to be outside sans kids on such a lovely day. Later in the day we had a great barbecue at our house that my dad organized with Molly, Nima, Ronin and my mom and dad and grandpa. It was a really nice day.

The babies are so cute lately. They are really interacting with each other and loving each other and fighting as well. Preston bites, Violet hits and Elsa steals everyones toys and is usually the recipient of the biting and hitting. We have been taking them in the hot tub and they love it. Elsa cannot be contained. We have to put water wings on her and watch her bob around the hot tub out of control, her head going under from time to time. We put Violet in a baby raft and she lays her bed back and stretches her arms out and relaxes. Preston likes to sit on the step and splash around, being very cautious not to fall in the pool. Ava cannot contain her excitement that her sisters and brother are in the water with her. Managing her is as difficult as managing the triplets. It is fun though.

Their personalities are really coming through more each day. Elsa is the sweet troublemaker. She has a heart of gold but is constantly doing things she isn’t supposed to all day. She climbs to the top of the computer desk in the playroom about 20 times a day and we have to go get her down. She has figured out how to get under the gate at the top of the stairs and so she does. I am afraid she will teach her brother and sister and then our gate will be useless and we will have triplets falling down the stairs all day. If the net wasn’t on the pool, Elsa would crawl right over and back herself down into the water. But she is the most friendly and sweet kid. You just can’t help but want to eat her up.

Violet is giving kisses all day long. She is my lover and my cuddler. She hugs and kisses and lays her little head down on your shoulder. She is very curious about everything she sees. I love Violet because she laughs so hard and cries so hard. She does everything with conviction. She loves to read books – but prefers to flip through them on her own. She loves playing with her brother and sister but if they cross her that little hand whips out and hits them so fast you can barely see it happening. She is good at playing by herself and is pretty easy going most of the time.

Preston is my boy. He loves his momma so much. He only wants me if I’m around. He wants me to hold him and cuddle him. He is starting to have a great time playing peekaboo with his sisters. His favorite thing is to drive his truck all around the house in circles all day. He drives it so fast he is practically running – with straight legs because he isn’t bending his knees. It is pretty funny. Preston loves to take things out of containers and throw them over his shoulder. It is dangerous sitting in his vicinity when he is in toy chucking mode.

Ava is a great big sister. She is demanding a “big sister day” like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. She isn’t kidding either. She honestly wants to know when it is going to be Big Sister Day. I really think I may need to make one up for her because she does deserve it.

We took tons of pictures over the weekend but I will post them next week.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

A little Griping on a Friday Morning May 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:48 pm

I debated on whether to do a blog today because I am just having one of those days. Things seem to be getting more challenging around the Woolsey household since the triplets are getting older. It is not so much their mobility that is creating greater difficulty in my life, but rather their opinions. They obviously cannot talk yet, but they are going through a clingy opinionated stage that is making me crazy. It is the typical mom syndrome; I notice that they play so nicely and independently when Laura or Kathy is with them, but the minute I am around they go nuts! They all start crying and crawling to me and if I am brave enough to plant myself on the floor, they crawl on me and cling to me for dear life. Some days I think I am the most loved person in the world and look how lucky I am. Other days, like today, I think why can’t I just be a normal person with a normal amount of kids.

Okay, so a lot of people have four kids, but most don’t have three of the four that are the same age. Some days the complexity of my life and choices I have made in life catches up to me and overwhelmes me in ways I don’t even know how to express. I feel like if I were a normal person with two kids I could go anywhere I wanted whenever I wanted to. I wouldn’t have to spend my kids college education money on nannies. I wouldn’t be looking at so many poopy diapers or wiping so much snot up all day long.

And then there is this other interesting side of me that I haven’t truly explored in regards to having this big crazy wild family. I often feel this need to prove to people that I may have triplets and this wild red head but everything is under control and my life is not overwhelming or crazy or bad. Don’t feel sorry for me, don’t use watching my life and my family to make yourself feel better about your life, and please don’t be overwhelmed watching my life unfold. Believe me, these thoughts don’t come from a bitter place, but I guess more from a place of pride. I don’t even like that quality in people and I guess I have to admit that when it comes to my kids and my family, I have a lot of pride. I have to let that go. I know I do. I know it comes from the negativity surrounding having higher order multiples and I will let it go one day when I am ready.

The truth is sometimes, not all the time, I do feel out of control, I do feel overwhelmed, I do feel depressed that it takes so much energy and takes so much time and costs so much money to do things that others can do without worry or stress.

My sister and Ronin came to visit us early this morning and we were all happy to see them. We usually don’t have any visitors that early in the morning so it was a nice change. Things were crazy as usual. Ava was hitting Violet over the head with a stuffed animal in some bizarre form of play. Preston was extra grumpy and clingy and hungry and was giving me a hard time. Violet leaned over too far in her booster chair and banged her head on the wall and then we all enjoyed a Violet extra loud cry. Elsa was just being cute. Chris was in his office for a conference call. It was 7:30 in the morning. My sister said “are you having a tough morning?” and this made me really think. No, I am not having a tough morning. This is just my life. This is my every morning with variations on attitudes and dramas. How funny and sad at the same time. I didn’t know whether I wanted to laugh or cry.

Anyway, I know that in a few years things will still be hard, but in different less physically intense ways. Right now I have four little kids who need so much from me – the babies need everything done for them and Ava needs less than everything but still a lot done for her. But when I have four kids who can go to the bathroom by themselves, dress themselves, eat by themselves, walk, talk and play with each other, life will be a little simpler.

I had a parent teacher conference with Ava’s montessori teacher yesterday. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised. Her teacher said that Ava is smart, is already reading some books and working hard on word building, is doing well with math, makes friends easily and is a pleasure to have in class. What more could a mom ask for? I was excited because I think and hope I will have a fairly easy time with Ava in school and we are all excited for Kindergarten next year.

Ava-ism:
“Mommy, who painted the world?”
If I were a religious person I would’ve simply said “God. God painted the world.” But since I am not and was not feeling particularly creative at that moment I said, “that is a great question Ava. I think you should ask Daddy.”
Then Ava said emphatically, “OH! I know! It was that pickle guy.”
I laughed so hard out loud that I offended Ava who really thought she was on to something. The pickle guy is this guy who is dressed up as a pickle advertising something on the side of the road. Ava continued, “mom, he is the painter of the world dressed up as a pickle.”
That was literally the best thing I had heard in awhile.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.