Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

SoCal Trip and Back Home Again November 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:55 am
The fabulous five: the five second cousins all born in the same

year – all five are five years old

Violet painting her head with water

Ava spent most of Thanksgiving week perfecting the

jump from the swing

I started to write this blog two weeks ago and here I am on a Tuesday night in December trying to finish it.

I dyed my hair a very dark brown with red accents. I needed a change and I was tired of watching my roots creep back to my natural brown color only a month after paying all that money to get the highlights done. So, I did it. My hairdresser was reluctant, but in the end I won the battle for dark hair. The red highlights are secretly just a small attempt to be red-headed enough that people won’t constantly ask me “where did your kids get their red hair?”, but it probably won’t work.

While we were still in Southern California, we took Ava and Violet to the park. I hopped in Coffee Bean Tea Leaf quickly. Violet was standing right beside me as I put cream in my coffee. I could hear Chris calling my name while standing only about 10 feet from me. Then he called Violet to come over to him. I turned to look at him and that is when he realized that I was his wife and Violet was safely standing next to her mom. Chris didn’t recognize me. It felt kind of liberating to be so incognito and unrecognizable even to my own husband. For now, I am embracing the new hair color, as change feels good in my life right now. Next I am going to get a nose ring. Just kidding. No I’m not. Okay, I am.

We had a very nice time in Thousand Oak with Chris’s parents. The weather was about 75 degrees the entire week which was so very pleasant. We took the kids to the park every single day and played. We took everyone out to dinner twice which is quite and undertaking but manageable with four adults. I am always proud that the kids can hang in there through a sit down dinner and we make it out with an acceptable amount of food on the ground. Ava went ice skating and loved it so much that she told Chris “I am not coming off the ice until the man gets on the loudspeaker and says we have to.”

Back home it was business as usual with our Monday morning starting off at a neurologist office. I decided that I was fairly frazzled at the first neurologist appointment where Violet was initially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. It was only four days before out big trip to Paris and I was trying to pack and get my kids situated for having missing parents for seven days. Plus, the front office staff are such a bunch of . . . well, let me just be nice and say that they are very incompetent . . . and after waiting an hour and a half with Violet we finally got in to see the doctor. I feel that I didn’t get to ask him all the questions I wanted to ask him. I got the CP diagnosis but I didn’t know anything else about it really. I figured instead of subjecting myself to the office staff again I would get a second opinion from a different neurologist and get my questions answered at the same time.

The thing about Violet is that she is so smart and does everything that her brother and sister do, and more, except for talk. I suppose the talking is going to come in handy one day, and shouldn’t be downplayed, which is why a speech therapist comes to our house twice a week to help her. But if Violet did have CP, it must be a very mild case, which is why we got the second opinion done. The new neurologist we saw did a very nice job of explaining cerebral palsy and why it occurs and what it means. He observed Violet and tested her reflexes. We got through 95% of the appointment with the neurologist thinking that Violet does not have Cerebral Palsy. The last 5 minutes of the appointment he observed Violet walking a little forward on her toes and he determined that she must have a very mild form of CP – nothing that will slow her down in life with the right kind of parenting and speech therapy. Shoot, I thought, we almost made it out of there without having that terrible cerebral palsy phrase attached to our Violet. But, Chris says that it is almost a relief to know that she does have just a mild form of CP because as her parents, we knew when she was 18 months old that some things were just a little more challenging for Violet.

I told the neurologist that Violet has amazing empathy for people that seems unusual in a child her age. I like his response very much. Very quickly he said, “well, she learned that early on from everything that she has been through.” It is so true. It must have been tough being crammed into the upper right quadrant of my abdomen, probably being constantly kicked and elbowed from her brother and then being born so tiny and having to learn how to eat from a bottle and try to grow so big so quickly. Then to get home and have to share all the attention with three other little people in the house. And have had to work so hard all by herself to get up and walk, and muster up enough might to say the few words that she says. She is a hard worker and we admire her very much. All three of the triplets have great empathy and I know 100 percent for sure that this is because they have grown up amongst each other and Ava and have learned how to love and feel from very early on.

Preston has really blossomed over this past couple weeks. He says new words each day and is mister happy-go-lucky. He is playing nicely with his sisters when he isn’t banging them over the head with his toys, and being a mischievous little boy. I don’t know what to make of him sometimes. He is definitely different from the girls and I find he plays independently of them a lot, but is much more social than he used to be. Instead of running for his mommy’s lap when the girls are all roughhousing, he has decided to join in and get crazy. Although tonight about 10 second into the roughhousing Ava didn’t see him and ran full force body slam into him and he flew across the room and face planted into the ground, so I am not sure if he will want to continue to partake.

Chris is gone to Miami this whole week. We miss him very much when he is gone. Ava mentioned about a dozen times tonight how much she misses him and wishes he was home. It is hard on us when he is gone but someone has to bring home the diaper and food money.

Ava is officially reading. In about one month she went from just knowing about 10 site words to literally reading books. It is amazing and exciting and I am proud of her. School is just going to come easy for Ava, just like driving me crazy also comes easy for her. Oh Chris and I have paid a price for Ava’s intellectual power over the years, but I know there will be great reward down the road when she is running a Fortune 500 company and buying us a vacation house on the San Juan Islands. A mom can only dream.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Sick Kids, Road Trip and Chauncy the Fly November 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:21 am

I don’t know why my blogs are so disgusting lately. I guess it is just my life with all these little alien creatures expelling bodily fluids here and there and everywhere.

The other morning I was out the door before 7am to get my blood drawn. I have had a well woman lab panel to get done for a routine physical for about one year but I could never seem to find time to do it. First of all, it was difficult to wrap my mind around actually leaving the house without having coffee, which was necessary since this was a fasting blood draw. Secondly, 7am is a busy time in the Woolsey household; difficult to escape the trenches. By the time I got home at 7:45am, one of the crew had fallen ill.

Chris and Elsa were on the couch, Elsa looking particularly sad and pathetic. About half an hour later Elsa barfed all over Chris and then we knew what was wrong with her: the stomach flu. Chris, being the good daddy he is, took getting barfed on in stride and carried Elsa to the shower. The only thing that stood between them was a layer of barf. It was so sweet. They took a nice long shower and got all cleaned up and dressed and smelling nice and then Elsa barfed all over Chris again. He started the cleanup process all over again.

Elsa is generally a good sick person because all she does is sleep most of the day and all night when she is sick. But, when she is awake she had to be held by me the entire time and I was not allowed to sit down while holding her.

By night time Chris was holding Elsa again, and again, she barfed all over him twice. I found it fascinating that I had Elsa the entire day and she did not barf on me once, but when Chris started to hold her she barfed again . . . twice. The event that really made me laugh for a very long time, though, was right before we went to bed Preston was playing and running around and Chris was lying on the ground. Preston walked up to Chris and had a spitup all over Chris’s shirt. Preston doesn’t even spitup very much anymore and I found it overly amusing that he chose that night on that person to fall back on old habits. I escaped the entire day without any bodily fluid landing on me. A successful day indeed!

The Road Trip

Saturday night we packed up the house and the car and got ready for our Thanksgiving trip down to Thousand Oaks with the domestics. Chris and I are actually a good team because I pack everyone’s clothes and accessories, which takes me about four hours, while Chris meticulously loads every square inch of our minivan.

Today didn’t go exactly as planned, but nothing ever really does in our lives. Nevertheless, Chris and I woke up early in the morning and we were pumped. We were ready for our getaway and a nice change of scenery. We poured our coffee and sipped on it as we put the finishing touches on our packing job. Ava gets up and deposits herself in her carseat in the minivan; she is ready to go by 7am. I go upstairs to get Elsa and I immediately smell an unnatural stench in her room. I go to change her diaper and I realize that this is a blowout that not even an entire package of Pampers wipes could resolve. I strip her naked and carry her under her arms and as far away from my body as possible all the way to the shower. Then I go to get Preston, and again with the unnatural stench. He doesn’t require a shower, but he does require about 30 wipes and new pajamas.

The trip started out okay with hardly a complaint; we had a Baby Einstein marathon going on the DVD player and a plethora of snack items to fill their little tummies. Things really began to go South when Preston threw up the first time. We had to do a pull over stop off the freeway and take Preston’s shirt off and clean up the puke that blanketed the straps of the carseat.

It was about this time that a fly entered our car and wouldn’t leave for the next few days. Chris named him Chauncy. No matter how many times I batted Chauncy with my magazine and rolled down my window in hopes that he would fly out, Chauncy had grown attached to us and just would not leave. I must admit that we grew to love Chauncy a little also. This leads me to the Haiku that Chris made up as we were about 1/2 an hour from our destination:

slowly going mad

four munchkins threatening chaos

crossing the grapevine

This Haiku kind of explains why Chris named a fly.

We had almost made it to the domestics house when Preston puked an adult sized puke all over himself and his car seat again. The poor kid was throwing up so much he could hardly breathe. So, precisely one minute before landing at the house Chris called his parents and told them of the unfortunate accident and when we pulled up we saw them coming toward us with a bucket of water and cloths. At that point I felt badly that the domestics couldn’t have some better houseguests that week than us.

Fast forward a half an hour later and we were basking in the Southern California sunshine in the backyard of the domestics home. We had stripped Preston down to his birthday suit and he was frolicking around the yard. We were joyous and happy because we had arrived safely and Preston seemed to be feeling better. I turn around to check on naked little Preston and notice he was walking a little funny. Right then he had an explosion diahrrea all over the domestics prestine patio. Nobody knew what to do with it right off the bat except for the dog Katie. I won’t go there. Dick said “who thought it was a good idea to leave Preston without a diaper on?” Ummmm, that would be the mothership. Lesson learned: DO NOT LEAVE A KID WITH THE STOMACH FLU TO RUN AROUND WITHOUT A DIAPER ON. We are truly nightmare houseguests. But here I must insert our motto for 2009: “it could’ve been worse.” Preston could’ve pooped on the carpet instead.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Mutiny November 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:45 pm

By the end of the day yesterday:

The number of times I said “no” = approximately 35 times
The number of times Chris and I cleaned a poopy diaper = 10 (seriously)
The number of threats I had to give my children to get what I wanted = 10
The amount of trays to booster seats I cleaned = 20
The number of times I swept the floor = 3 (but should’ve been 5)
The awake hours of the day I was holding children = 11
The number of trips to Starbucks to get us through the day = 2 (should’ve been more)
The number of times I told Chris I am going to put the kids in their cribs and go to a bar = 1 time The number of times I threatened to give my dog away = 1 time
The number of cups of water thrown outside the bathtub by the babies during bathtime = 12ish
The number of times I laughed at how adorable my kids are = countless

There is mutiny on board the mothership. The crew is starting to work together and turn against their captain. This morning we had a frenzy of throwing valuable cargo overboard: breakfast sausage, English muffin, fruit. So, I said in my fed up stern captain voice, “that’s it! There will be no more food for you Elsa!” At this time I took her tray off and as I was washing it I looked behind me and Violet was passing food over to Elsa. I heard her little “tank too” which is “thank you” and then she proceeded to throw Violet’s food on the ground. They were working together against me. It is starting already.

We had our family photos taken yesterday. I think I dread family photos more than anything else in the world. Why? Because my kids are never happy at the photo shoot and Chris and I are outnumbered which becomes unmanageable while out on a photo shoot. The children are inevitably grumpy and therefore I feel grumpy. I usually don’t let too many things stress me out in my life otherwise I would just be stressed out and miserable all the time, but the photo shoot was at 9am and by 7:30am I had a raging headache. The outfit decisions, the runny noses, and the anticipation of the photo shoot were killing me. We changed Ava’s clothes about five times trying to find the right thing and she was very annoyed at us. I had to fix five heads of hair including my own which I hardly ever fix. The photo shoot was as miserable as I expected it would be. Preston tends to be a grumpy old man a lot anyway, but with the cold and the fact that he was extremely tired that morning, he was severely grumpy. He cried most of the morning and would not stop unless I was holding him. The photographers did a great job and were very patient in working with us. I am sure out of all the photos they took there should be a least a few good ones. At one point the photographer said to us “wow, you must have to have a lot of patience huh?” No comment.

I forgot to add this on to the blog the first time I sent it out but our very own Ava Rose Woolsey, against all odds, made her first game-ending goal last Saturday. It was Chris’s proudest parent moment he said. She went from literally standing on the field picking grass and wrapping her hair around her fingers at the beginning of the soccer season to jumping into action and dribbling the ball all the way down the field to score a goal. Chris put it on youtube if you want to check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxbK5NpBnp8

I don’t usually throw out endorsements in my blog, I but I feel compelled to start. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I have just been feeling strongly about things lately – everything from dishwashing detergent to movies. So, here is my endorsement for the day:

Food, Inc. – rent it. Very interesting and disturbing, but most definitely a must see.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

The Grossest Mom Moment EVER November 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:52 am

I wanted to throw up or at least hide under the bed with the covers pulled over my head but I couldn’t do either because I am a mom and mom’s have to do gross things all the time. But this took the cake.

Chris took Ava to the GI doctor yesterday morning to check and make sure she doesn’t have any problems in her belly or intestines. She seems to get stomach aches a lot, and has a lot of gas in her belly all the time causing bloating, etc. Ava endured getting 8 vials of blood taken out of her arm and an x-ray. She went to the blood draw kicking and screaming but once she saw the blood leaving she was fascinated and at peace. Strange child. And then getting an x-ray was just about the best thing that could’ve happened in her week. She LOVES and is intrigued by the x-ray. The x-ray showed tons of gas on one side of her body and tons of poop on the other. The doctor said this was too much gas and sent Chris home with series of fecal sample tests.

So, today while I was at Nordstrom picking up some new jeans with my sister I got a text from Laura. It said “Ava pooped in the bowl. I put it in the laundry room sink so the babies don’t get it . . . that would not be good.” My mind immediately wandered to the triplets with their hands elbow deep in the poop, playing and laughing with delight. And then I realized what I had to do when I got home. Wait a minute! Chris said he would do the poop but he is out of town tonight. How unfair. What great timing on his part.

So I got home and Preston was crying very dramatically for me to hold him so I had to hold him. Then I had to go deal with the poop. I couldn’t put Preston down because he needed me really badly at that very moment. So I said to him, lets go do the poop Pres. With one arm holding Preston and one hand holding the wooden stick, I went in. I was required to scoop some poop from the bowl, smear it two different places on the sample area and then close it up. During this process two bad things happened since I was holding Preston and trying to collect poop samples: one, while I wasn’t looking Preston was using his pen to play in my one already placed poop sample; two, I dropped the poop sample poop side down on the ground. Sigh. It was a poopy start.

Then I needed to actually take chunks of poop and insert them in a liquid preservative. That is the part where I really wanted to throw up but I kept my cool. Preston and I did our job and moved on with our lives. Do I feel like a better mom for doing this hideous job? No, absolutely not. Will I have nightmares about poop? Probably.

I decided my reward for the poop experience was some fabulous new jeans and shirts that I bought myself at Nordstroms 1/2 yearly sale.

Now I am pooped.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Halloween with the Wild Things November 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:40 pm

Apple Hill with the Woolseys and the Hosseinis getting pumpkins and
eating apple donuts . . . our little tradition

Nima thinks he was picking out the best pumpkins . . . ha!

Bunch of dirt faces. Doesn’t the mom ever bathe them?

Playing with bubbles

The kids throwing dirt and rocks while on a hike at Lake Tahoe

Gigi and Elsa

Sage looking very sphelt and stoic

Spaghetti is so messy but so yummy

I will try and take a relaxing moment wherever I can — even
if it is at the park on the bark being mauled by little people

Ava starting her rock climbing career

Once Violet gets a hold of this pink soccer ball she will
not share it with anyone at any time

Violet needs a 12-step program by the looks of it

Preston needs a 12-step program for compulsive crayon eating-
look at his blue teeth

The clown strolling the tiger on Halloween

The happy family – we love Halloween! Yeah!

It is a circus

Ava looking cute for Auntie Kaely’s baby shower

My life seems so busy taking care of the needs and schedules of all these little monkeys that sometimes I feel when we get to a holiday I feel dread. Rather than being excited about getting them all dressed up for Halloween and meeting all of our neighbor friends in the park before trick or treating, I felt this overwhelming desire for it all just to be over. Then I felt disappointed in myself. Of course we got them all dressed up and once we were at the park I poured myself a glass of wine and worked on enjoying the moment. Part of the problem is that the babies don’t really enjoy these things yet, so it feels a little like a waste of energy putting all of us through the process just to have crying clingy babies a the park.
Ava on the other hand, fully appreciates and enjoys every second of Halloween. Up until yesterday, she was Max from The Wild Things, which we borrowed from Angela. On Halloween she switched it up and decided to be a clown, which I had borrowed from my neighbor friend Gianna earlier in the month. While we were trick or treating all I could see from a distance was Ava in this bright colored clown costume and crazy wig zipping full speed from one house to the next with her friends. I am excited for when the babies are old enough to have fun trick or treating with their big sis.
The kids are starting to play very well with each other. Every night the girl’s rough house and I sit there watching in horror as they yank each other to the ground and dog pile and pull hair and laugh hysterically. Every night someone ends up crying, but they have so much fun together playing that I can’t stop them. Meanwhile, Preston takes refuge on my lap with his little froggie blanket and watches the girls going crazy screaming and running and jumping on each other. It is a little too much for them and he is going to leave all that wild behavior to his sisters. You can’t really blame him since right now he has a huge red welt on the side of his face where Violet bit him. It is sad because she didn’t even bite him out of anger, but rather just because she thought it was funny.
On a different note, Elsa is always up from her naps first. The other day I put Elsa down for her nap about 45 minutes earlier than the other two because she was just too grumpy. So, of course, she woke up earlier than them. While I was cleaning up the kitchen I heard this, “HI!” and then a second later I heard another “HI!”. I ran upstairs and found that Elsa had gone into Violets room and woke her up, and then she moved to Preston’s room and woke him up. They were both standing up in their cribs clutching their blankets looking at me with these sleepy groggy eyes. I grabbed Elsa and ran downstairs and had myself a little cry. This happened on Tuesday, the only day I don’t have any help; the day I really need them all to take a good nap. Despite my efforts, nobody continued sleeping. We all survived and I learned to always close the gate leading upstairs after I get Elsa up from her nap.
I continue to work hard at getting the triplets to do things for themselves – we are working toward self sufficiency each day. Ava is pretty good as she is able to get herself dressed, get her own drinks, wipe her own bottom, etc. I am in the process of transitioning her to a shower where she can soap her own body and wash her hair. Then we will work on her combing her own hair – oh that will be the day.
The babies are starting to try to put their own socks and shoes on. I got the potty seat out from under the house because I am going to try to get them potty trained ASAP. They are very interested in watching me go potty so maybe that means they want to try also. They are doing a great job eating with spoons and forks like big people. I try to always walk to and from the car holding their hands instead of carrying them so they learn that they must hold my hand and they have to walk with me until we get to our destination. We are setting up a pack n play in our dining room for time outs for them. I guess they aren’t babies anymore so they need to have consequences for naughty behavior like biting their brother on his cheek and leaving him with a vampire like mark, or hitting each other over the head with hard objects.
Raising triplets is a lot of fun and also a huge game of strategy. It is constantly thinking and rethinking how we are doing things and if we are using techniques that will create an easier life for our family as well as kids. How soon can we get them to know what is expected of them and how to act appropriately in public. I don’t expect perfect kids, but I do expect that they follow the rules so I don’t have to end up institutionalized.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.