Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Travel Itch January 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:46 pm

I am itching to travel. I don’t say it out loud to anyone because then I get the very unsympathetic, “but you just went to Hawaii and Paris” comment. Yes, I did just go to Hawaii and Paris, but I want to see Thailand and Australia and South America and Greece, to name a small few. There is so much to see and so many cultures to explore, but that will all have to wait a little while.
My sister and I have been talking about a weekend getaway for many months now, and with our new babies it just hasn’t happened yet. I texted her yesterday and asked her where we should go. She texted back “Italy”. She was speaking my language. I immediately put myself in Italy with the Mediterranean sun beating against my face, sipping wine and eating cheese, salami and slurping homemade pasta. It was exhilarating for about 10 seconds. When I got home I told Chris about the text exchange and he said, “you should just go! Take our airline miles and go to Italy.” What? First of all, he is far more generous and giving than I am. Secondly, my sister and I can’t go to Italy right now. It just isn’t realistic in my life or hers. But I thought that was such a sweet and giving thing to say in response to a dreamy text message.
In light of my travel itch that I cannot scratch, I have picked up Eat, Pray, Love to read . . . again. The first time I picked it up the babies were very little and after reading a little less than a quarter of the book I gave it up. Elizabeth Gilbert and I were having a hard time relating to one another at the time. I couldn’t relate to her free spirited life of travel and leisure and her inability to see herself as a wife and mother. If she were reading my blog, she would not be able to relate to my life with newborn triplets and their sleepless nights, countless poopy diapers to change each day, not to mention laundry, bottles and a strong-willed overly-verbal three year old red head with an attitude. As I am getting back into the book with more sleep and less diapers and laundry, I am very much appreciating traveling with Liz through her cultural experiences and personal crossroads.
If I were to write my own book about cultural experiences and personal crossroads right now it would go something like this: I have no cultural experiences right now but my personal crossroad is how to take care of four puking kids with the stomach flu and still maintain a good attitude. Luckily, when all four kids were throwing up all over the house (the stairs, the playroom, the cribs, the bed, the couch, and even down that little crevasse in my bed between the mattress and the footboard – that hard to reach area) this last weekend, Chris was still in good health. We tag teamed the quadruple stomach flu all day on Sunday. While one of us stripped the kid that just threw up and bathed them or wiped them down, the other stripped sheets or cleaned the carpet and started yet another load of laundry. I didn’t have the stomach flu myself, in fact I was the only one who didn’t get it (even Nanny Laura got it), but let me tell you that I believe t hat I was just as miserable as the puke pack. Chris got the flu Sunday night and was down and out until Tuesday. Monday Nanny Laura called in sick with the flu, which left the mothership to manage a crew full of ailing and weary passengers . . . alone. Woes me.
We are finally all feeling better and there are two fun things happening around the house as far as almost 2 year old and their development. One is that Preston can repeat almost any word you ask him to. Ava, our speech therapist, has Preston repeat words that she says and he can repeat anything. Now, because he is a quite little man, he doesn’t talk a lot throughout the day, but it is exciting to know that if he is asked to talk, he can.
Also, we have been puzzling like crazy these days. It brings back memories of doing puzzle after puzzle with Ava starting when she was one. I think we have every Melissa and Doug puzzle ever made and at least half of the Ravensburger puzzles in existence. Doing these puzzles brings back mixed emotions: I loved spending this time with Ava doing puzzles, but I wished I wasn’t spending all my days doing puzzles. But now Ava will do puzzles with the babies and they all enjoy it very much. It is really wonderful to watch them work on these puzzles together and witness Ava be so proud of them and praise them when they get all the pieces into their proper spots.
So in my last email I mentioned how Violet perseveres. Well, she was determined to learn the right technique to doing puzzles and the other night she figured out just how to turn the puzzle piece to fit it in the spot perfectly. She must have done about 15 puzzles perfectly. This is what I love about her. She will keep trying to do something until she can do it well. She is starting to do this with speech. Before she wouldn’t even try to say something because I think she wasn’t ready, now she attempts to say so many words. I tell the speech therapist (the real one, not Ava) that she says a lot of words but it isn’t always pretty, and the speech therapist said it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t sound right, what matters is that she is trying to say the words.
As it rains and pours here I long for the sun. Oh sun how I love you so.
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Triplet Moms Are Cool January 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:11 pm

Ava holding Kaely and Daniel’s precious Finley
Triplets times two in full play
Violet and Fletcher playing nicely together

Preston and Bailey
All of us – Elsa missed the “get on your mom’s lap” memo

Bailey and Elsa were working on sharing this toy
Elsa and Parker
Grilled Cheese sandwiches coming right up!


Ring around the rosy

The guilt has been building up and now I must write my blog because it has been almost two weeks again. Yes, I must admit that laying in bed watching television at the end of the day is somewhat more appealing than trying to turn on my brain and write. But in an effort to keep brain activity working at a steady level, I am using nap time to write some thoughts down.

I just picked up a message from the neurologist who got the results back from Violet’s MRI and all he said as that the results are consistent with Cerebral Palsy. I take that to mean that she has some brain injury in the area of her brain that is consistent with people who have CP. I called the doctor because I needed to know more. He said the damage is mild and she will only get better from here. I asked him if it was because she lacked oxygen in the womb at some point and he said that was most likely the case. He said she would probably need physical therapy. I said that she doesn’t need physical therapy because she walks and runs and jumps just as well as her brother and sister . . . maybe even better. I told him that she is in speech therapy and trying to say new words every day.

Okay, so now I know. Am I glad I know? I don’t know the answer to that yet. I just know that I had myself a short little cry because I feel somewhat responsible for Violet’s mild CP. I don’t mean to be lame and blame myself when I was doing the best I could, like mom’s tend to do. I just think that Violet was so smooshed in her section of the womb and I was maybe up on my feet a little too much at week 30 and it was just too much for both of us.

So, now I will move past my little piece of motherly guilt and know that Violet’s CP will most likely be unrecognizable throughout her life; it is virtually unrecognizable now. She is smart and she perseveres and she is just about the happiest most loving little kid I have ever seen. We love her so.

The most fun and interesting thing that happened in my week last week was our triplet playdate. My friend Emily who has two boys and one girl triplets that are a month older than mine brought her brood up to play with the Woolsey triplets for awhile. I met Emily when I was 15 weeks and she was 19 weeks at a El Dorado Mother’s of Multiples Baby Sale. I looked at her, a month ahead of me and said to myself, “good god, is my belly going to be THAT big in a month?” Anyway, all the kids were very good and very cute. I noticed with all six kids in the playroom together that an enormous mess emassed rather quickly (to be expected). I also noticed that the only hitting, biting, pushing, grabbing and hair pulling that occurred were committed by siblings to one another. In other words, the Kapic triplets did not inflict harm on the Woolsey triplets, or visa-a-versa. We pretty much had our own little in-home preschool that day so we did things like Simon Says and Ring Around the Rosie. The rest of the time Emily and I tried to have a conversation and get some best practice ideas from each other. It went something like this: Emily says “so what is the . . . Parker don’t do that.” Or I start to say, “I think it is fun when . . . Violet don’t you hit.” It is hard to have a conversation with two sets of triplets in the room. They are a cute six little six pack, and we will be seeing much more of our triplet friends now that Molly, Nima and Ronin will be living right down the street from them in Sacramento.

I think triplet moms are fun. We are part of a specialized segment of motherhood and only we can possibly understand each others lives. I met an awesome triplet mom in Costco the other day. Chris and I were shoving greasy Costco pizza down our kids before shopping and this nice woman comes up to me and says, “I hope this isn’t too nosy, but are those triplets?” I am used to this but usually people aren’t so polite with their inquiries. I said, yes they are. She said, “well, I just had to come up to you because I am the mom to 10 year old triplets, and I have three older daughters.” She said, “being the mom to triplets is the most wonderful thing in the world.” She said that the first five years were hard, but now it is just wonderful and fun and exciting. Then the weirdest thing happened. I was in Starbucks the next day and I ran into her again. She told me that her older girls are always looking for ways to help people out and that they would love to watch the triplets for us. She said her girls are obviously very good with triplets. I whipped my Mothership business card out immediately (yes, I do have those) and passed it over to my new triplet mom friend.

Our house is very loud lately. Ava talks non-stop. I am not exaggerating. She has always been loud and boisterous but now she has taken her lively personality the next step with constant communication. Sometimes I hit my breaking point and I just say “Ava stop talking.” I usually have to repeat that request about five to ten times before she actually stops talking. Then she is offended because she feels that everything she says is very interesting and of utmost importance. “THAT IS NOT VERY NICE!!” she tell me. Preston has been screaming like a girl. He literally screams bloody murder when he wants something. It is not cool. Elsa screams bloody murder when she feels threatened or is assaulted in some way. She has always screamed though. Violet is the quietest but she definitely has her loud moments also. Tonight at the dinner table they were all chanting this noise that sounded like a bunch of wild animals that just scored a kill at Kruger National Park “eeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaa” as loud as they could . . .all four of them. We will never have a quiet, serene household. I had many years of quiet and serene . . . and it was boring.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Happy New Year January 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:20 am

This is what happens when you have three sisters:
you find yourself vacuuming in a pink tutu

The Woolsey 6 are partying hard this year on New Year’s. For example, it is 7:21 on New Year’s Eve and I am writing my blog. Chris is busy making cookies with Ava while talking in some sort of . . . I think it is supposed to be a French accent. The babies have gone to bed already. Although we actually could have gone out and partied hard since Nanny Kathy told me she could babysit tonight, I really just felt like having a mellow night at home with my family. It was a wise decision considering how my day turned out today.

Chris and I have been debating whether to get our sweet, precious Violet an MRI for about 6 months now. I am usually the kind of person that is willing to do any and every test out there if it will give us more information on a medical issue. This MRI for Violet has been a tough decision though, since Violet will have to be put out and it would obviously be uncomfortable for her. Even after our second neurologist told us he would probably get Violet an MRI if it her his child, we were still having a hard time deciding whether to go through with it. So, we put a call in to the great, wise, all-knowing Dr. Lehrman; a family friend who I have known all my life and trust implicitly. He told us that the MRI is to a neurologist what looking in the ear is the a GP. He said the MRI may provide some important information and that it doesn’t have any radiation that could potentially harm Violet, so in conclusion, he thinks we should do it. Then a couple of days ago the office called to tell us Violet was moved to 2pm instead of 9am. This was bad news because she has to fast for 8 hours leading up to the MRI. Poor Violet was going to starve all day.

Chris and I woke up this morning and felt like we were on the fence again. Did we really want to put Violet through this? Did it even matter what the MRI told us since we already know Violet is perfect? How are we going to not feed our 22 month old all day long? In the end, we worked it out. We kept Violet away from having to watch her siblings enjoy their breakfast, their snack and then their lunch. Then I loaded her up and we headed to Sacramento.

Violet was very brave. She sat and waited for an hour with me in the waiting room with the top of both of her hands lathered in numbing cream. Then we held her down to the hospital bed while the anesthesiologist stuck her tiny hand with a needle and injected the sleeping medicine into her. Within 5 seconds she went limp and sat layed there perfectly still with her eyes open. It was creepy. Luckily the nurse had warned me that it might look scary or unnatural when Violet goes to sleep. They carried her away while I finished my book in the waiting room. An hour later they brought me a very agitated skinny little red head. I held her and she was still really drugged and out of it. Then she started flailing her body around and crying and I just had to sit there and hold her tight so she didn’t fly out of my arms. Then she cried the whole way home. I tried to give her juice and snacks because I know she must have been starving, but she did not want anything. She was pissed. I had this weird feeling that she was holding me responsible for her crappy day at the hospital. She is like Ava in that she knows things she shouldn’t know, and I feel like she remembered that I held her down on the bed and let the doctor stick her with that needle. All was well when she had a couple of pieces of pizza, a couple of sippy cups full of milk and a whole bunch of ice cream dibs.

In the end, we are so glad we got Violet an MRI and so happy that the whole experience is behind us. So, I am happy to be ringing in the new year with my family in my home. There will be a time to party at New Year’s again one day, and that time is not now.

This morning Ava, big sister extraordinaire, was teaching the babies how to talk. Her first word in the lesson was none other than the word Ava. She would say to Violet, say AAAAAAA. Violet would say it. Then she would say, Violet say vvvvvvvvvvvvv, and Violet would say the sound vvvvvvv. Ava then said, to say ahhhhhhhhhhhhh. Violet would say ahhhhhhhhhh. She was a great teacher and I couldn’t believe when all the babies were copying all the sounds that Ava was teaching. Maybe I should pay Ava like $1 allowance a week to give Violet speech therapy; that would be a huge cost savings for us.

Here is a short list of the things that I liked in 2009:

My babies turned 1 year old
Barack Obama was elected President
Trip to Paris
Trip to Hawaii
Christmas and the two nights leading up to it
Snowstorm in Cameron Park
Ava starting Kindergarten
Ava learned to read
Getting my iPhone
Chris losing 30 pounds and ran a marathon in honor of Trevor
The song Just Breath by Pearl Jam

Here is a short list of the things I did not like in 2009:

Poop in the bathtub
Ava badgering me about snacks and play dates
The real estate market
The genocide in Darfur
Sara Palin

In 2010 I have one or two personal endeavors that I hope to get started. Oh yes, there is always the whole “i am going to get in shape and lose 10 pounds” resolution that I have made and not accomplished every single year for the past 10 years. This year will be different. I have more interesting goals in mind and if I can pull it off it should be pretty cool.

Speaking of cool, my good friend and neighbor Angela was on KGO radio tonight talking about Trevor and the importance of getting swabbed and put into the bone marrow registry. Make it a goal for 2010 my friends . . . get swabbed. It is easy, painless, and free. Just think how great you would feel if you were the match for someone and saved their life this coming year. Just think if you were the match for Trevor and saved his life and today he was a happy, healthy 3 year old little boy. That would be a life changing moment.

I wish everyone the best 2010. I hope this is a great year for all of us.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.