Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Musical Ava May 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:09 pm

Ava had her piano concert this past Monday as she is nearing the end of a year of piano lessons. We have been quite impressed with Ava’s ability to pick up the music and what I love about her piano recital is that she chose on her own to sing along to the music she was playing.

It kind of reminded us of back in the day when she was just 3 and she played the guitar while she sang some familiar tunes:


A Day In The Life May 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 3:24 am

I would like to outline a day in the Woolsey household. I haven’t done this in a while, and since today was a busy day in which I feel I accomplished a lot by myself, I thought I would write it down. In 20 years from now my kids can read this and appreciate me more . . . maybe.
7:00am: wake up and get two milks and two juices ready for the kids. Tried to make my beloved wonderful tasty cuppa Joe (even my kids say “mommy’s coffee”) and, alas, there was no coffee left.
7:10am: called Chris in San Francisco and said, “really Chris? No coffee? Really? You didn’t tell me there wasn’t any coffee left and now I am all by myself with all these kids all day and I don’t have my morning cup of coffee!” Chris says, “I did tell you there wasn’t any coffee. Remember when I said as I was making yesterdays coffee that this is our last brew?” I said, “No, I do not remember that.”
7:15am: get Preston and Violet up from bed and carry them both down (this has to stop for the health of my body) and give them their juice and milk. Go back upstairs and get Elsa and give her milk.
7:20am: run upstairs and get clothes for everyone to wear
7:30am: Ava is up and this is a very late morning for her. Normally she is awake by 6:30 and downstairs by 7:00am. She is fighting an illness or allergies so today was a sleep in for her. She drinks her juice.
7:35am: I call everyone in for breakfast. I put three kids in their booster seats, strap them in and put their trays on. I run to the drying rack to get the bowls and make four bowls of oatmeal. After they eat that I make Preston and Ava their second bowl. I toast two waffles for the kids but everyone just plays with them with their utensils instead of eating them.
8:00am: I clean everyone’s hands and face and strip them of their pajamas and take them into the playroom. I change three diapers and put three sets of clothes on. I lock everyone in the playroom and run upstairs really fast to get Ava’s clothes. I throw Ava’s clothes to her to get dressed and run into the bathroom to get my clothes and makeup on and brush my hair. This takes 5 minutes which is all I have to spare before someone hits or bites somebody else in the playroom while I am gone.
8:15am: I run into the kitchen and make Ava her lunch which she may not eat at all while she is at school. I throw it in her backpack. While I am by the back door to the garage I hustle into the laundry room to grab four pairs of shoes.
8:25am: I literally run into the bathroom and grab three hair ties, a detangler spray and a comb. I start with Ava’s lion’s mane of hair, combing it and pulling part of it back out of her face. I then comb Violet’s hair and she yells “OW” at me about 3 times. I tell Violet sorry for pulling her hair while I am putting it into a pony tail and Ava then reminds me that Violet just likes to say “OW” a lot. I move to Elsa and put her hair part way up and then she immediately pulls it out even though I use those rubberbands that are supposed to be impossible to pull out.
8:30am: I yell, “everyone in the car” and release my herd of wild animals from the playroom. Everyone runs to the back door except Preston who has gotten sidetracked by the tool cupboard and within 5 seconds has 5 screwdrivers pulled out of the drawer and was carrying them around proudly. “Daddy’s tools,” he said. I snatched them from his hands before he killed someone with them and shuffled my posy out the door. I lifted three kids into their car seats, buckled three kids in (luckily Ava can do herself) and then put in Elmo Potty Time, the blockbuster hit about a little red furry creature who talks funny trying to go potty in the toilet. It is a real classic. The sad part is that I feel guilty that I let my kids watch TV in the car when we go places. I actually used to judge other moms who did this. This is why you should never judge other moms unless they are holding their kids upside down by their feet or something. Oh well, I tell myself that they really hardly watch TV at home because they won’t sit around that long to do it, so this is their time for TV viewing. Oh, and did I mention it makes for a very pleasant and peaceful drive?
8:45am: we arrive at Starbucks where I order my tall 2% mocha and tell myself that I really don’t need to buy the lowfat cinnamon swirl coffee cake today. And I don’t. It is a miracle. I order Ava a chocolate Horizon milk (not the Vanilla one because she tell me it gives her a tummy ache). The triplets are set with their Peter Rabbit Organics Strawberry and Banana fruit puree drink, but when I reach back to give Ava her chocolate milk they let out a courtesy grunt just to let me know that they noticed that Ava got a chocolate milk and they are drinking the organic pure fruit drink. I think to myself, when you are five I will have to buy FOUR horizon chocolate milks everytime I want a god damn mocha for myself which is going to definitely come out of their college fund.
8:55am: We are on our way to the dentist office in Placerville to get four mouths of teeth cleaned. We arrive early so I can fill out massive amounts of paperwork for the three kids who have never gotten their teeth cleaned.
9:15am: yep, let the paperwork begin. The receptionist gives me a sympathetic look as she hands me the first round of papers to fill out. By page 2 I am getting a large cramp in my hand. I check my work and I am f’ing up all over the place with wrong names and wrong social security numbers and mixing up birthdates with today’s date. It is a real mess. Not to mention my handwriting is getting worse with each form. I hear crying from the play area. “What happened?” I asked with my head buried in the forms. Elsa emerges from the play area and says “Violet bit me” with her sad face. I walked Elsa in to get an apology from Violet and she was seriously like Picasso sitting on a stool in front of her easel with pens in each hand and beautiful scribbles all over her paper. She looked up at us and smiled, clearly not caring about the pain she inflicted on Elsa. It is the same old story: Violet was minding her own business playing nicely by herself when Elsa came by and thought she would take over all of Violet’s stuff and then Violet bit her. I looked over to my right and Preston was taking was a boring plain plastic plate and coloring it in different colors with the markers. I am sure the office is going to be so excited that the plates have a design on them now.
9:35am: I am done filling out paperwork and my old pal Heather who I danced ballet with from the time I was little greets us in the waiting room. She and I try to coordinate the strategy of which kids should go in first and who should go with whom, like we are planning to go into battle. Ultimately we decide to save the hardest for last: my precious Violet June. Heather suggest we just bring Preston and Elsa in but Ava insists on going in also to help her brother and sister make it through the teeth cleaning without having a nervous breakdown. Ava is the best big sister ever. Heather and her colleague rip my children from me (they are clinging to me for dear life) and bring them back behind closed doors. Meanwhile Violet and I are chilling in the waiting room. I am warning Violet about her impending trip to the back room with the evil dental hygienists and she keeps saying an affirmative “NO” to that. Soon enough, the hygienists were after her. She left kicking and screaming. They said she cried the entire time she was in there. That is my VV – she doesn’t like people she doesn’t know touching her – she is a smart girl.
10:25am: I load four children up in the minivan and run back in because in my faint visual memory I recall a huge tub of lollipops. I am not sure if I really saw these in the pediatric dental office or not, so I run back in and sure enough there are the sugar-free lollipops. They have saved me from three screaming children. I proudly deliver the lollipops to my posy and we head out to drop Ava off at school.
10:45am: I am a bit late so I call my mom a minute before I get to school and she greets me at the curb to hand deliver Ava to Kindergarten. Oh yes, there are a many perks to having the grandma be the principal of the school.
10:50am: The little kids and I head to Tumble Time to do some gymnastics. I am less than enthusiastic to participate in this activity but I go because I payed for it and because the kids love it. I get them all to hold hands with each other as we walk through the parking lot – always a proud moment for me.
12:00pm: I load the three kids back up in the car and we head home. While three whining kids are clinging to me I muster up some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, some sliced cheese, peaches and blackberries. I put sliced turkey on their plate and for three days in a row they remove it from their plates, disgusted that I would include that in their lunch.
12:30: three diaper changes and then I put the kids to bed. I put them to bed a little early because we were all tired.
1:00pm: Commence clean up starting with the playroom, then the kitchen, bedroom, family room, etc.

I could go on but I have said enough and am exhausted. Life is busy every second of the day and sometimes it is just nice to capture the details to remember what it was really like.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Mini Milestone May 14, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:13 am

Today I experienced a mini milestone in triplet world. I did not have Chris home to help, I did not have a nanny to help, but what I did have was Ava’s swim team lesson at 4pm and two-year old triplets. I had missed the last two swim lessons and was determined to get Ava there today so maybe she wouldn’t come in last every race this season. Yeah, yeah, I know, it isn’t about winning the race, it is about trying your hardest. But Ava really wants to win a race.

I loaded those little people up and brought the choo choo wagon and some graham crackers, and we made it an adventure. We got to poolside and before Ava’s lesson even began, the natives were restless in their wagons. I must admit that I was scared because I was by myself with three two-year old by a huge body of water. This could get ugly. Last summer at the swim lessons the babies would just crawl right in the pool at will. This year they are a little older and wiser, but I was terribly outnumbered.

My strategy was simple, but effective as it turns out. Before removing each kid from their wagon we had a face to face lecture . . . I lectured in their face. I would say, “you may not go near the pool. If you go near the pool I will carry you back to the wagon, hook you up and you will stay in there the rest of the time.” Then I would let them out. Each kid got this lecture before I let them out. For a half an hour all three kids sat right next to me and watched the kids swim. I was proud. Maybe it was a fluke, but I felt like I accomplished something today; I got all three of my kids to sit by me with the tempting water only feet away.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Garden Saboteur May 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 1:44 pm

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There is a mystery saboteur in my garden. A few weeks ago I painstakingly planted three whole flats of annuals to go along the bottom of my driveway (Ava helped). The next day, someone had come by and pulled every single one of the plants out of the ground and set them beside the hole. I was dumbfounded. Who would rip the plants from the ground of a hard-working mom who really has no time or business planting in the yard these days anyway? I was offended. I brainstormed with neighbors and we tried to think of potential enemies who would want to destroy me by pulling my beautiful annuals out of the ground. That path led us nowhere. Then we thought of teenagers who may think this would be a fun joke. That seemed unlikely because we figured that the plants would at least be tossed all over the road as part of the fun. My neighbor Kathy suggested maybe an animal came by and did the dirty deed. I blew off this theory because the plants were so neatly pulled and placed beside their holes.
The mystery was unsolved.
I replanted the plants less joyfully this time. A few days later about five of them were again pulled out of the ground. Oh my god, really people, I don’t have time to plant these plants one time, let alone two or three times! I replanted again.
The mystery was unsolved.
Two days ago I paid my gardeners to plant a bunch of plants at the top of my driveway by the front door. This morning, four of the plants were pulled from the ground and set beside the hole.
I think I solved the mystery, although without placing video surveillance out in my yard I will never have complete verification. My theory is as follows and starts with a very nice gentleman working at El Dorado Nursery. This man talked me into buying a very lovely product last time I was there buying plants. He said, and I will quote, “I bring my coffee out to my yard each morning, look around and think how very happy I am that my plants were planted with E.B. Stone Organics planting starter fertilizer.” Well, how could I not buy it? The man was very delighted by this product and I instantly envisioned my flowers being prolific and vibrant and happy. This was a product that I need to spend an extra $8.99 on. I noticed that the only plants that were being ripped from the ground were the ones planted with this miracle starter fertilizer in the hole. The conclusion of my theory is that not only plants love this special starter fertilizer, but so do raccoons. We have many raccoons who prowl the property after dark, and I think they are the culprits of my gardening mystery. Let me know what you think by answering the poll below. If you have your own theory, let me know.

Last post I forgot to share that Ava did indeed sing all of her songs from the church production of The Good News Cruise, from We are Serpents of the Lord, to Jesus Is In Our Heart.  For four shows straight, Ava got up on stage and sang her little heart out and had all the hand motions down.  I had to give her credit because that was a long time to stand up on stage through the singing and the down time.

It was a lot of Jesus for my husband the Jew.  Therefore, when the last show ended on Sunday, Chris brought Lauren and Ava to a Jewish Festival in Sacramento after the last show on Sunday.  They watched Israeli dancers, at hot dogs (Hebrew national of course) and listened to Matisyahu (http://www.matisyahuworld.com). There are some really nice pictures that Chris took of the girls from that afternoon above in the slideshow.

In other news, Preston is learning Spanish through his love of cleaning.  Our housekeepers come every other week and as soon as they arrive Preston goes to retrieve his personal mini Dyson.  He follows the cleaners all around the house with his Dyson cleaning right behind them, for two solid hours!  Seriously, that is some serious interest and dedication for a two year old.  The entire time they clean together, the housecleaners talk to Preston in Spanish.  I mean, they have serious conversations with Preston (one sided) and he listens intently while he vacuums.  Well, that day Preston picked up the Spanish words Adios and Gracias.  Later that day Preston told the man who was filling up our propane tank “adios” as he was leaving.  Now of course Violet and Elsa are saying it also.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Village May 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:18 am

Check it out.  Chris has designed me a new website on wordpress that I will be publishing my blog through.  So now you can find me on www.woolsey6.com.  Once inside my blog, if you navigate to another page, you can always get back to the current posting by clicking on the Woolsey Family Chronicles header. 

Today I was thinking about a village.  You know, the whole “it takes a village to raise a child” philosophy.  The philosophy that other countries seem to embrace in their culture.  Chris and I went on our honeymoon in Costa Rica.  We had a tour guide named Flaco (which means skinny in Spanish).  He was 21 years old and married with two children.  One day he showed us his village.  It was a very modest set of small building strangely linked together, almost like a set of four boxes that make up a larger rectangle.  Flaco told us that he and his wife and kids lived in the one small house, his parents in another, his grandparents in another and his siblings resided in the remaining.  They all lived together in this set of close-knit homes that made up a family village.  It was fascinating to me.  I was not envious at the time.  First of all, how could he only be 21 and be married with two kids.  Secondly, how could he live in such a small house next to his entire extended family? 

I did not understand, nor did I appreciate the concept of the village.  I had just gotten married and wasn’t planning on kids for a few years.  I was interested in bigger homes and more independence from my entire family unit. It wasn’t that I didn’t love my family and want to spend time with them.  It is my culture that is dictating what is good and normal for me, and it was not normal for every living relative to live within arms reach of me.

Almost 10 years later I am a little envious.  To have a life so simple and so centered around being close to family is admirable.  Lets be honest, the village concept would truly work for me right now.  I have a highly energetic five-year old and three, yes three, two-year old children.  There is always someone having a bad day.  There is always someone who doesn’t like what I am serving for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Someone is always getting hurt.  For example, the other day Elsa and Violet were playing with the door, opening and closing it, when Elsa got her middle finger closed in the hinge section of the door.  The door was closed all the way.  Once her finger was released from the closed door, a big chunk of her skin was flapping in the wind.  It took more than a week of every day maintenance and antibacterial sprays, creams and bandages to finally heal the wretched wound.  Anyone interested in becoming  a part of the Woolsey6 village?  Room and board is included.  Cleaning 15 dirty diapers, breaking up countless brawls, serious hard labor in the form of lifting and carrying 20+ pound kids (sometimes two at a time) around the house and up stairs, and lots of hugs, love and kisses also included.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.