Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Balls July 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:46 am

We made it back safely from our trip with minimal problems.  The kids seem to be old enough now where they really get the point of the “road trip” and sit back in their seats and relax.  We stopped halfway through at a Carl’s Jr. for a little food to carry us through to home and I definitely felt like we were a bunch of hillbillies, but luckily we fit in with the crowd that had amassed at this nowhere town USA fast food joint.  The little kids were still wearing their white onesies from bedtime the previous night, except they were filthy with the plethora of snacks they had eaten the first 4 hours of the trip.  There hair was a disaster and two of the three had pretty full diapers.  The only reason Ava looked descent was because she can dress herself, and she did so before we left.  Her hair was a rat’s nest though, which just added to our white trash family appearance.  We really topped it off at the end when I walked them outside and in the little area between the outside and the inside where a line had formed to order food, all the kids (who were now covered head to toe in ketchup) had made a sport of running from one glass wall to the next, ricocheting off of it like a cartoon character and laughing hysterically.  I quickly moved my party of dirty gremlins to the sweltering out-of-doors and coerced them into the car.

All said and done, a successful trip to the South of California. I would like the hereby thank my wonderful nieces Briana and Sophia – the best, most patient and loving cousins and role models to my kids.  I would also like to thank the domestics who helped out tons (it isn’t easy having the Woolsey 6 invade your home for a week) and enabled us to go have a fun-filled day at Disneyland.

In other news, lets talk balls.  The big, round bouncy kind (that’s what she said, The Office).  The kind that my kids spot in the big metal cage and insist on having.  Yes, I caved in Target and allowed my kids to each hold a big bouncy ball half their size as we cruised the aisles.  These balls caused me many a problem at Target that day.  First of all, Preston and Violet used them as weapons against each other as they sat in their seats in the cart.  Then there was the fun game of throw the ball and watch mommy run like a fool all around the store getting it for them game.  At one point, even with their very close proximity, they weren’t allowing each other to touch their balls that they had so quickly laid claim to and formed a close bond with.  I had finally made it through Target and to the car with all my loot piled up in my shopping cart, two spry red heads in the passenger seats clutching huge balls. Then Violet decided to throw her ball out into the parking lot as far as she could, at which point a very kind teenager ran to retrieve it and hand it off to me when I noticed the ball had rolled in a big wad of gum.  “Oh JESUS!” I screamed in disgust at the ball and resentment toward my daughter for this last unkind act.  The teenager, alarmed at my over-reaction to the gum smeared across this sacred ball, offered to run into Target to wipe my ball off for me.  What kind of teenager is this, I was thinking.  She was a teenager from another planet far far away.  I collected myself and told her I will utilize my stash of anti-bacterial wet wipes in the car to fix the situation.  And I did. 

The good news is that the balls were a HUGE hit in our house.  While making dinner that night I heard belly laughter in the playroom from Preston and Violet (Chris had the other two running errands somewhere else).  I grabbed my video camera in case I would see something precious.  The two little people were rolling themselves over the ball and flying onto the ground.  What was causing the true belly laugh was when the one flying off the ball hit the other kid on the way down.  It was dangerous and full of potential for injury, but I stood with my video camera and taped because it was too cute to stop.  In the end, the problems the balls had caused me in Target that day were worth it.  The next day I was back buying a ball for Elsa and Ava.  Everybody needed their own big ball. 

I will put our slideshow of the trip up next time when I’m not so tired.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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New Warning Out! Apparently We Are All Killing Our Kids July 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:21 pm

Here is a new study that came out about lead that has been found in ALMOST EVERYTHING we feed our kids.  Talk about disturbing and overwhelming!  I am about ready to buy and farm and eat off the land because this is just ridiculous.  Do you think you are safe because you spend twice as much money and buy organic canned and packaged foods? Well, high amounts of lead were found in organic brands from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s as well.  Here is the article if you are interested:

http://www.seventhgeneration.com/learn/blog/new-study-says-85-kids-juices-snacks-could-contain-high-levels-lead?source=email&utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=READ+MORE&utm_content=missskf%40mac.com&utm_campaign=7Gen+-+July+8%2C+2010

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Road Trip July 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 8:06 pm

Kendall, Lauren, Ava and Elsa playing dress up

 

This is what you end up looking like when you have 3 sisters

 

These are all iPhone pictures so they aren't the best but this is Briana, Sophia, Elsie and I outside Chris's parent's house

 

V-V and Briana

 

We are in Southern California for a week right now visiting Chris’s family and getting a much needed change of scenery (perhaps I need the change of scenery the most).  The drive down was the best we have had yet.  We had the Elmo marathon playing in the car, which the kids watch about 1/2 hour of and then they lose interest.  We keep the movie on anyways because it provides some sort of comfort background noise for them during the trip.  We stopped halfway through the road trip at a rest stop and had our picnic and the kids got to run around amongst the rest stop crowd, an interesting bunch, and stretch their legs.  We made it to Westlake Village by 2pm.  Nobody slept in the car but the kids were ready to party!  Our nieces Briana and Sophia are visiting from Connecticut and the kids adore them.  They are 10 and 12 and I just may kidnap them and take them home with me to help me with all these little kids.  I told Chris’s brother Ron (Briana and Sophia’s dad) my proposition to kidnap them and take them home with me to live and he just laughed.  I guess he didn’t take me seriously or he did not like my idea too much.  I think Briana and Sophia would be game for it though.  

I decided that is what I need in my world – an older child.  Ava is far too young and high maintenance to provide me much help to these three two-year olds and so I really need a kid who is 8 or older to come live with us.  Nanny help is wonderful of course, but very limited and so there are all the rest of the hours that we don’t have any help which, according to my calculations, is 153 hours a week on our own.  Ava starts 1st grade in 552 hours and then I will be down to a mere three toddlers to take care of and entertain all day.  It is an improvement at least. I will say that they are very good toddlers, so I do have that going for me, which is nice. 

It has been a very interesting summer of parenting for Ava.  Chris and I have learned in the weeks that she has been off school that sometimes you need to take all the parenting instincts that you have and the parenting techniques that you believe in and throw them out the window and try something fresh and something that may feel unnatural.  Ava has been challenging us and behaving very temperamentally this summer off school.  Ava inherently needs to be stimulated and have fun things to do throughout each day.  “Down time” is literally Ava’s worst phrase in life. We usually implement extreme discipline measures to combat bad behavior, but this has been causing us even more craziness and chaos in our household.  One day it clicked with both Chris and I that we needed to try something totally different from what we have been doing and see how this affects our five-year old, our sanity and our household.  Instead of disciplining and yelling at Ava for all the things she does throughout the day that we are unhappy with, we tried just showing her lots of love and patience and letting 80 percent of her “stuff” roll off our backs.  This technique seems to be working so well with Ava and creating more positive behavior in her than the constant negative behavior and negative attention she was creating before.  This is not to say that we have completely thrown discipline out the window.  Instead we are just trying to stay calm and positive with Ava all day and let her more easily create calm and positive choices for herself.  

Having four kids all with different temperaments and personalities has really taught me valuable lessons.  One is that each child needs and requires different attentions from their parents.  Secondly, I have learned not to judge other people’s parenting styles because for the most part, everybody I see and know is doing the best they can for their kids.  Also, and most importantly, each child requires different styles of parenting that may not be the same as what works for my kids.  Like everything, there are always exceptions to this rule, like the kid who is being beaten in Wal-Mart (I’ve never been in Wal-Mart but we have all heard these stories right?), or the child who pees on the play equipment for on the playground even though they should know better, and the mom neither cleans up the mess so other kids don’t touch it, nor reprimands the child so they don’t do it again (a true story as told to me by my friend Kari).  Gross. 

An excerpt from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet book “On Children”: 

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
“Speak to us of Children”.
And he said: 

Your children are not your children,
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but are not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. 

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and
He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
So he loves also the bow that is stable. 

I would like to recommend the movie “Gasland” for everyone to see.  It is amazing what goes on around us and we may have the perception that it is good because we were told it is by the powers to be, but it is quite the opposite.  I watched it on HBO.  It may be out on video now.  Check it out.  http://gaslandthemovie.com/

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

10 Years And Counting July 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 11:01 pm

 

Ten years ago today Chris and I got married under a huppah by a Rabbi who promised me he would focus his ceremony on love rather than religion.  We, along with our 170 guests, enjoyed a beautiful sunny day atop the hill that is Point Loma overlooking the San Diego coastline and ocean.  The wedding itself was planned down to every detail by Chris and myself. We wanted the wedding to be a big party in a beautiful location and ten years later we still have wonderful memories of that day. 

Today we are celebrating our marriage milestone at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn.  With the beautiful suites, the bathing ritual and peaceful grounds, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to stay anywhere else.  I was up at 5am out of pure excitement about three days sans kids and enjoying some relaxation and nice meals.  I am never up at 5am.  It was like Christmas in June for me. 

We started our getaway at Chateau Carneros and as we sat out on the patio sipping our sparkling wine Chris said it perfectly: “There is something very cathartic about just sitting here looking at the lines in the hills.   You know people travel from all over the world to be here and we just drove an hour.”  We were fortunate indeed.

We got to our hotel and Chris, in typical Chris fashion, managed to get the front desk to wave three days of bathing ritual usage fees without even asking.  And to boot, there was a bottle of champagne and a beautiful fruit plate waiting for us when we got back to the room. All it took was just a little of that Chris charm is all. 

Since this is my 10 year anniversary, I would like to take a moment to provide a top 10 list of reasons I love and reasons I married Chris:

  1.  Chris makes me laugh.  His sense of humor is stellar and this quality is of utmost importance to me.  Perhaps it is because I grew up with my dad’s witty, dry and often corny and crass sense of humor that I value this quality in a person.
  2. Chris is kind and always willing to do something random and generous for someone else. 
  3. Chris’s charm has old ladies squealing in glee wherever he goes. Chris’s mom says that when Chris was very young he could walk into a room of adults and carry on an adult conversation.  Oh yes, Chris has a way with people, which is how wherever we go we get the best room, the best table, and inevitably, something for free.
  4. Chris is the best dad.  He would do absolutely anything in the world for them.  He says probably on a daily basis, “I love my babies,” even though they aren’t babies anymore.  To him, they will all always be his babies. 
  5. Chris is the best husband.  I truly don’t know what I would’ve done without him supporting me through the past couple of years.  When I am being “Debbie Downer” Chris is there to pick me up and remind me how fortunate we are and how everything in life is going to work out great. 
  6. The fact that when Chris gets a headache he wants to get an MRI to make sure he doesn’t have a brain tumor.
  7. Chris likes to shop and decorate and do some of the fun things that women do which make him fun to be around.
  8. He once fit 8 ounces of pizza dough into his large-sized mouth, deeming him the record holder for many years at the Woodstock’s Pizza in San Luis Obispo (where we both worked during our first years of college).
  9. Chris reads and writes poetry
  10. He is wicked smart

So happy anniversary to a wonderful husband. . . looking forward to many more fun-filled years.  As I write this we are driving in the car from Healdsburg.  Isn’t it amazing that I can publish a blog post through the Internet while I am driving?  I love technology. 

Ava-ism:

The other day in the car Chris spent about 5 minutes teaching Ava about homonyms and going over the different examples of homonyms.  He told Ava that the word means two words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meaning.  Some examples we all came up with were “where and wear” and “there and their”.  So a few days ago I said, “oh Ava, I came up with a great . . . . what is that word. . . the one where the two words sound the same. . . “and Ava said, “oh you mean Homonym?”  In a hundred years I probably wouldn’t have come up with that word but it took my 5-year-old two seconds to pull it out of her memory bank.  So, I said “yeah! That’s it!  My homonym is “whole and hole”.  Ava said, “whole like the whole world or I’m going to eat a whole pizza and the other hole is like the hole in a sock.”  Exactly.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.