Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Trevor April 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 2:18 pm

Last Sunday April 25th was the 3rd Anniversary of Trevor’s passing and friends gathered at the Folsom lake to enjoy the beautiful day and remember a beautiful boy. Some people there, including Bob, were doing a mini triathlon in preparation for the Wildflower triathlon this coming weekend. It took Chris and I over an hour to get out the door in the morning and meet Chris’s parents at the lake (they were in town). By the time we got everyone dressed, hair fixed, lunch packed, bike packed and got ourselves ready, Chris and I had already run a mini-triathlon and were slightly stressed and exhausted.

It was worth the effort though. Just to sit on the grass and watch the kids run freely and happily in the sunshine was a treat. Ava rode laps on her bike and then I saw her hop off her bike and start jogging on the trail, helmet and all. She got a few yards in her jog and stopped because she was exhausted. That was Ava’s attempt at a mini-tri.

It was a beautiful day to celebrate Trevor. That night I told Bob how absolutely amazing and admirable it is that he and Angela turned the death of their little boy into a positive force in their lives. The statistics say that many couples who experience the death of a child end up in divorce because of the tragedy. Bob and Angela run races and set up booths at the events to raise awareness about the importance of getting on the bone marrow registry. Trevor would be proud.

Please take a moment to vote for Brenda Bisharat so she can be recognized as the #1 Best Photographer in Sacramento. Those who follow my blog know about Brenda and all the wonderful professional and charitable work she does. She took this picture of Trevor and was there when the triplets were born, snapping away.

Ava-ism:
Ava told Grandma “I love you Googolplex.” Grandma confidently responded with “well, I love you more than Googolplex.” Ava quickly responded back with, “no, you can’t. Googolplex is where all the numbers stop.” As it turns out, Ava is pretty much right. Googolplex is not just a large number – it’s the largest number we can discuss with any clarity. Just how big is googolplex? Try this out: it would take the fastest computer on earth 4 X 1081 centuries to count to googolplex. That’s a lot of love for Grandma.

 

Multiples Secret Language April 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:38 am

The kids are all at a very cute age. I didn’t say it was an easy age, but cute for sure. People always talk about multiples having their own language. Some moms of multiples say this wasn’t true for their kids at all while others claim that their kids needed a speech therapist because they just talked to each other in their own language. It is very cute because I am definitely noticing more and more that the little kids are talking to each other. They ask each other questions, answer each other’s questions and then I have seen them mutually laugh at something that they are communicating about. Sometimes I can understand what they are saying, but a lot of the time it is just their own language.

I have also noticed, even though they are only two, the little kids play together all the time. I would say Preston has the highest propensity to be a loner and just play with his trains by himself. The girls do puzzles together with the help of their big sis, play on the play structures together and wrestle. The little girls love to wrestle. They grab and tackle each other from behind, throw each other to the ground, lay on each other, and this usually goes on until someone gets hurt.

Now that the blessed sun has been out more lately, we go outside to play on the playground in the backyard after dinner. I prop my buttocks on the blue lounge chair and monitor the kids as the go up and down the slide a thousand times, catapult themselves through the structures windows, and chase each other.

Tonight I was setting up Ava’s Barbie house with her and it reminded me of a memory I had. Chris and I were traveling through France with our friends Nicola and Paul around 2002. We ended up at this quaint little house in Saumur in the heart of the Loire Valley. We were making ourselves dinner as the sun was setting on the vineyards around us and Nicola and I were going back and forth about how we would raise our kids. We were both years away from having kids ourselves, but boy did we know a lot about how these future kids were going to be brought up. No toys guns for boys, and no Barbies for girls. We would not have sexualized models of women with their perfect bodies and perfectly long illustrious hair held up as models for our girls to feel that they had to live up to. No way were we going to be into that.

Fast forward eight years and I have amassed through gifts and charitable contributions to the Woolsey household, if I were to count, 30 gorgeous Barbies, 60 different Barbie outfits, furniture to fill a few Barbie mansions and of course, the three story Barbie house. As Ava and I finish up working on furniture and Barbie placement in the Barbie house it strikes me that this looks a lot like a Barbie Hollywood whore house. It has all the makings of a scandalous scene, with scantily clad Barbies draped over the couches (possibly drunk) and crowding the beds (no comment) and then there are Barbies skinny dipping in the outdoor hot tub. There are hot plastic ladies everywhere. So my standards for allowing my girls to own Barbies have given way to our cultural and societal norms; this is sometimes the difference between idealistic parenting and realistic parenting I suppose. But I don’t have any fake guns in my house yet!

Meanwhile I am engaged in a very tough conversation. In our Barbie Hollywood whore house decoration party, Ava and I have run across the tooth fairy pillow that my mom made me when I was a little girl. I explained to Ava that when she loses her first tooth she will place it in the pocket of the pillow and we will place this pillow under her pillow and then a tooth fairy will come by and take her tooth and replace it with something special. Ava challenged me big time on the tooth fairy. She asked several times in a few different ways how the tooth fairy knows that the pillow with the tooth in it is under her pillow. She asked me what she is going to give for the tooth. I said when I was little it was money. Ava has no use for money yet, so she suggested that a toy would be better. I told her that if she got money she could buy her own toy. She totally disregarded this brilliant idea and replaced it with her own sensible idea that really the tooth fairy should just get her a new toothbrush. Great idea, I said. Then about five minutes later Ava said, Mom, is there really a tooth fairy? I had to think quick but I pulled one out of Angela’s playbook and said, “of course there is a tooth fairy if you believe in her.” Phew. Tonight I am going to believe in my own kind of tooth fairy, the kind that leaves spa gift certificates under my pillow.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Adventures With Violet April 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:25 am

Tonight Violet locked herself in her bedroom. This kind of adventure usually does happen when Chris is not here. I have never tried to open a locked door before so I just used my common sense and got a very small screwdriver and stuck it in the little hole to try and rig it open. I think most of the problem for me was that I was not confident in my abilities to jimmy this thing open so I called the other Jimmy to come on over and do “mans work”. Violet was hysterical locked in the bedroom. I had shoved a binkie under the door to calm her down and then I shoved my fingers under and we held fingers together waiting for Gramps.

Meanwhile Ava was laying on one of the stairs and Elsa and Preston were stepping on her and rolling over her down the stairs, all of them laughing hysterically. Gramps showed up to save the day. It took him exactly 2.5 seconds to get the door open. Poor V was beside herself with fear. It wouldn’t be a day in the Woolsey household without some sort of adventure.

Chris and I went on a little overnight getaway last week to Sonoma. It was absolutely blissful. We stayed at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and did nothing but eat, participate in the bathing ritual, swim in the nice warm mineral pools, read and sleep. I felt so unbelievably rejuvenated, and it was so nice for Chris and I to spend some quality time in a less stressful and demanding environment than home is right now. I loved it so much that I think we shall go back on Chris and my 10 year anniversary this summer.

Elsa is starting to talk in sentences now – she can string about three words together and it is so cute to hear. Preston is a quiet boy, but can repeat any word you say. Violet is making great progress with her speech, saying more and more words each week. The biggest thing I have notices about Violet is that she is feeling confident enough to try and say more words now. I took Violet to the doctor and she still weighs 20 pounds. Her doctor says that she weighs as much as a one year old. I told him that I feed her as much fat in her foods as I can and that I really don’t know what to do because I cannot force her to eat. The doctor thinks that it is better to be skinny than fat as long as she is healthy, which she is. I will continue to give her whole milk (and the other little kids as well), butter everything, give whole milk yogurt, etc. I think she will always just be a skinny kid though.

Ava-ism:

Ava saw a book at the doctor’s office and it was called “I Aint Gonna Paint No More”. Ava looks really hard at it and then reads it again out loud. She then turns to me and says, “that sounds funny. Is that Spanish?”

I guess she is educated already.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Hell No, We Won’t Go! (again) April 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:11 am

This trip to Monterey is the first time Chris and I have embarked on a hotel expedition with all of the kids. Normally we go to Chris’s parent’s home where we are fully set up with all of the essentials of traveling with four small children.

Our trip probably wouldn’t have felt like such a failure if Preston didn’t come down with a fever yesterday afternoon. He was fussy and burning up. Also, the little kids were too young to fully appreciate the awesome sights at the aquarium like Ava did. I feel Ava got a little shortchanges (and so did we) because the little kids were tired and were done with the fish after the first tank. Thankfully my parents were with us to help with the kids; one kid per adult is a very ideal situation for us, and it was nice having them along. 

We first stopped in beautiful San Juan Bautista to see the donkeys, chickens and cats at my Aunts and Uncles house and that was really fun for the kids. We did some swimming in the hotel pool, we went to a very awesome park called the Denise The Menace Park and had some fun and then we went out to The Fisherman’s Grotto for dinner right on the wharf. Everybody was very accommodating to us in Monterey. The Embassy Suites provided us the three pack n plays for sleeping, and for breakfast everyone ran around getting booster seats and providing Chris and I with a therapeutic cup of coffee amidst the madness. Of course, we ran into another triplet family – 8 year old triplets – who told me 3 years old was their worst year and it only got better from there. Three years old was Ava’s hardest year, so triplet mom’s comment did not surprise me.

Oh yes, we “had our hands full” a majority of this trip. If I had to do it all over again, would I do it? Hell no. Our next family trip will be taking place in 2012. Until then, we will stick to day trips and experiencing the beauty out our back door, so to speak. As Chris reminds me, we pay the big bucks to live in California because it is a wonderful state with so much to do and see.

The good news is that we got our first second night at the hotel comp’d because the air conditioner was broken (rendering the Woolsey 6 sweltering in our hotel room) and then we got the rest of the bill comp’d when Chris told the hotel reservation worker that he liked his jacket. Seriously. I guess that guy needed a little pump up that day. We all have those days don’t we, where we need someone to say something nice to us and put a smile on our face.

Well, at least we tried. I think the highlight of the trip were the hours we spent in the sunshine at Dennis The Menace Park.  Our life is a learning lesson from one day to the next and an exercise in regrouping, refocusing and moving on. It is what it is.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

It Is Just The Way It Is

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:10 am

Our ambitious week long trip to Monterey for a few days and then on to our favorite San Luis Obispo destination was shortened to just a few days in Monterey. We have had the toughest few weeks with illness and other interesting personal dilemmas, which led me to enter Chris’s office a few days ago in tears. I didn’t want to go on the exhausting road trip that sounded like too much work. Chris and I have been through the ringer this winter and our “vacation” just sounded like more work.

I anticipated a long and miserable winter and that is what was delivered to me. A self fulfilling prophesy perhaps, or just the way life is when you have four kids five and under who get sick all winter. Chris says I should just call it like it is, a Whale’s a**hole, whatever that means. So I asked Chris what the heck that expression means and it actually has a fairly funny and interesting answer. Apparently the whale’s anatomy down under is grossly undersized for the amount of food ingested by a ginormous whale, which would cause pause and wonder as to why the whale wasn’t given a bigger area for excretion. The answer to the riddle? It is just the way it is.

We have four kids who are all little and need to be taken care of at each waking hour of the day, and sometimes into the night. It is winter about four months out of the year. We are destined to be ill three of those four months during the winter. I am destined to be miserable for those four months. It is just the way it is. Then the sun comes out and we emerge from our cave and put on our bathing suits and play in water all summer; a much better collection of months for the Woolsey 6.

So Chris came up with the best idea I have heard all year long. We will only do the Monterey portion of our trip which the kids will enjoy the most, and then we will head home Tuesday. This is where it gets really good: Chris and I have booked a night at the Sonoma Fairmont Mission Inn at the end of the week where we will drink, eat, sleep and partake in the bathing ritual at the hotel. Bliss.

We are in the car headed for San Juan Bautista to see my Aunt Jill and Uncle Robert. They have five cats, two donkeys, and a few roosters on their property and the kids are going to love getting up close and personal with the animals. We are leaving for our hotel in Monterey today around naptime and starting tomorrow we will have two days of Aquarium madness.

Traveling with Ava is pretty simple at 5. Traveling with three 2 year olds is more complicated; they still need binkies, blankets (2 each), sippy cups, strollers, small utensils, cribs, diapers, wipes, their special stuffed animals, etc. It is a lot of work but at the end of the day, it is an adventure and an experience that the kids may not remember, but will perhaps help shape them and give them a few life lessons to learn from.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.