Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Thanksgiving Adventures November 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:25 am

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We packed up and headed out on our annual Thanksgiving trip down to Thousand Oaks.  Our minivan was packed to maximum capacity (I wish I had taken a picture) and it was about 2 minutes into the drive that I realized we needed to invest in a rocket box in a hurry.   We had a pretty good trip of non-stop Baby Einsteins and snacks.  As I am the personal servant to each of them at home, I am also their servant in the car.  I pretty much spend 6 1/2 hours switching videos, passing out snacks, retrieving dropped blankets and binkies and in-between I Internet shop or browse magazines. 

The kids were so very excited to see Grandma and Pappa and the feeling was mutual.  Within 5 minutes of our arrival, the pristine living room floor was covered in toys. At Grandma and Pappa’s house the triplets sleep in porta-cribs in the same room.  At home the little girls sleep in the same room and Preston has his own room since he tends to sleep in later in the morning.  Ava sleeps with us in our room. The first night we were there, we put the kids to sleep around 8pm and we could tell that there was going to be a potential riot in the room.  The kids were wound up and they were shouting and screaming at each other. 

Typically, at home, Elsa is the only kid that climbs out of her crib, and back into her crib, at record speed.  I would like to add that during naptime and bedtime, she NEVER climbs out of her crib.  Elsa is a rule follower.  I mention this because I didn’t think that one of my night-time challenges would be that the kids would climb out of their cribs.  At around 9pm the party was escalating in the triplets sleeping quarters.  I sent big bad daddy in to break up the party and encourage them to be quiet or else something that they hold near and dear to their hearts such as binkies and blankets may have to be removed from their cribs.  What he saw when he walked in was like a scene from a casino in Vegas: Preston was still in his crib but he had reached the top drawer of the dresser and handed Violet, who had left her crib, a deck of playing cards.  Violet, in turn, was passing the playing cards out to her fellow gamblers.  Elsa was playing a little Texas Holdem and had lined her playing cards up neatly in her crib.  They were all excitedly talking to each other in extra loud voices like they were competing with the noises of chips, roulette and gamblers chatter in the casino. 

The next night was loud and raucous as well.  When big bad daddy went in to break up the potential gambling party, all three of them were out of their cribs running amok. 

The third night Chris and I went to see the new Russell Crow movie, which was very entertaining I must say, and Grandma and Pappa were in charge.  When they heard the loud noises coming from the room, Grandma went in to give them a talkin’ to.  At the end of her speech, she asked for some general buy-in to her terms and conditions for the evening.  At that point, all three of them said, “OK Grandma”.  When Grandma closed the door all three of them started hysterically laughing.

Chris and I took Ava ice skating on Monday.  The sky was blue but the air was cold and it was great ice skating weather.  I had warned Ava that I had only been ice skating once in my life when I was a teenager and I sucked really bad.  “I am really not a very good ice skater Ava,” I think were my exact words.  I got out on the ice and I actually wasn’t too bad.  I was skating around that rink no problem.  At one point I was feeling so cocky about my ice skating abilities that I considered moving to the middle and trying a fast spin like another little girl was doing there.  Then I thought about a broken arm or a sprained wrist and decided that I was perfectly happy skating nicely around the perimeter of the rink like everyone else.  Toward the end of our skate, Ava stopped me at the side rails and said, “Mommy, you told me you weren’t a good ice skater and you are really good!  Why did you say that when it wasn’t true?”  I said, “well Ava, I really truly didn’t think I was going to be any good at ice skating.”  Then Ava said, “so, it’s like a dream come true.”  When they buzzed us out of the rink because our time was up, Ava couldn’t believe it.  She would’ve stayed in there all day and skated, taking hard falls to her bottom along the way. 

On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we took the crew to the Skirball Jewish Museum again to enjoy the Noah’s Ark area for kids.  It really is a wonderful place for kids to explore in a hands-on atmosphere the sounds storms make, the way a giraffe moves its long neck, and it has a big climbing area.  The climbing area is for 4 years old and up but there was no way on earth that my 2 1/2 year olds were going to miss out on this opportunity.  Ava, of course, was at a great age to maneuver up the nets and through the exhibit.  The triplets needed a lot of assistance and I found myself climbing through small netted areas and over wobbly wooden bridges that I hoped wouldn’t collapse on me.  I was sweating, and I could feel the eyes of the other parents down below staring at me, probably saying to themselves, “boy does she have her hands full!”  Well, I did have my hands full and Chris kindly captured it all on film from below.  I think he felt sorry for me, but was extremely amused at the same time. 

Thanksgiving was very nice.  Chris’s brother Ron and his family visited from Connecticut and the kids had a great time visiting with them.  While Sherri and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner, the whole crew drove to the Valley to see Marshie and Hermie, Chris’s grandparents.  Hermie is pretty bedridden at this point so he was laying in his bed when everyone arrives.  The kids all climbed up on his bed and gave him hugs and kisses and love.  Hermie later told Chris that it was the best day of his life.  I can only imagine what it must feel like to be almost 90 years old, struggling mentally and physically, to have grandkids and great-grandkids surrounding you showing you love: that is what family is all about. 

We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner and then made our way home on Friday morning.  Ava asked me numerous times on the drive if we were going to start decorating for Christmas right when we got home.

And now the Christmas festivities begin. 

Ava-ism:

Ava had a behaviorally-challenged day tonight and as Chris was saying goodnight to her he was discussing how she could’ve showed better behavior.  In response, Ava said to Chris, “you know what daddy, when you behave badly Santa only gives you get rocks for Christmas.  But you know, I really really love rocks.”  That was Ava preparing herself for the possibility of getting a stocking full of rocks for Christmas.  Way to make diamonds out of quartz Ava. 

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

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Mothership Montessori November 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:54 pm

Yesterday I asked Ava if she knew how to spell dinosaur because when I wrote it down on paper it didn’t look right.  I am a pretty good speller but I think as I get older there are lapses in my intellectual capabilities.  Ava on the other hand seems to be moving in the other direction.  It was a little humiliating asking my daughter how to spell a word, but I was desperate.  I didn’t want Ava’s teacher to see that I had misspelled a word on her reading log.  I felt confident that Ava would be up to the task of spelling dinosaur since she successfully spelled “cohesion” and “adhesion” on the first try the day before and Pennsylvania the day before that.  I feel that I have never really had to teach Ava anything because she just teaches herself.

Meanwhile, I have been feeling guilty lately because the triplets are going to be 3 years old in a few short months and I realized that I really haven’t taught them any of the basics.  They know how to recite their alphabet and numbers to about 15, but I have never sat down with them to work on letter recognition or colors.  The truth, according to the mothership, is that my triplets are perfectly ok where they are right now, and I know that, but there is so much pressure on moms and kids these days to make sure their kids know as much as possible as soon as possible.  I am sure what parents are really concerned about is that their kids don’t struggle in school when it comes time to go to Kindergarten; that they are prepared with the knowledge they need to have a good experience in school.  Oh there are always those parents who push their kids to be the next Einstein or Vos Savant (woman with the highest IQ in history), but most of us just don’t want our kids to have to struggle through school. 

However, the triplets are ready for preschool.  They tell me at least once a week that they want to go to school and then I ask them if they are going to get a job to pay for it at which point they stare at me blankly.  As a compromise, I ordered a preschool program for 2 year olds online and I am opening up the Mothership Montessori at home and only accepting three students; my kids.  We will be learning three letters at a time and completing basic tasks like tracing and drawing straight lines.  There is even a math and social studies section.

 If you are wondering how I plan on getting three two-year olds to sit with me while I teach them a school lesson, you are not alone.  I myself wonder how I am going to keep their attention and interest for more than 5 minutes, but I am keeping a positive outlook.  If I had to predict how Mothership Montessori will go, it will go something like this: Violet will focus wholeheartedly on each project, completing it meticulously while holding her pencil correctly; Elsa will have an initial abundance of interest which will turn into her annoying her brother and sister with something and then screaming at the top of her lungs when life isn’t going her way; Preston will decide at the moment whether he feels like participating at all and he will probably tell me “no” when I ask him to repeat a letter or word or trace a letter.  Preston will be my most challenging student because he is truly a kid who does things at his own time and pace and when he is good and ready.  He is in no hurry in life and will not apologize for it. 

In other news, we are already listening to Christmas music.  This last weekend Ava heard on Sirius Radio in Chris’s car that beginning Monday (last Monday), they would have a channel that plays all Christmas music all day.  When Monday morning rolled around do you think Ava forgot about the big Christmas music announcement?  Of course not.  On the way to school Ava asked Chris to tune in to the Christmas music station and much to her dismay that had not as of 7:30am Monday morning fulfilled their promise of Christmas music.  She didn’t give up her quest to start listening to Christmas music (before Thanksgiving might I add, sigh) and the next day the channel was playing Christmas music.  As some musician was belting out Santa Claus is Coming To Town I looked to the backseat and Ava had a huge smile on her face. 

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Lily November 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:52 am

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The process of creating, growing and delivering a new human being into the world is never unimpressive.  I simply marvel at a woman’s body’s ability to grow and nurture a little baby and then deliver it from her body, fully formed and perfect and capable of turning into a crying, laughing, talking person. 

I was privileged enough to be able to watch my new niece Lily Josephine be born on November 11th at noon.  Ava and I rushed to the hospital, just after we stopped for our Peet’s Coffee and hot chocolate, and waited for Lily to make her grand appearance.  Ava was in the room for a few of Molly’s pushes, and then we ushered her out to wait with Gramps and Ronin in the waiting room.  My poor sister pushed for nearly 3 hours because Lily’s head was at a precarious angle which made it difficult for her to exit the premises.  But when she did finally decide to show herself to the world, she was a beautiful 7 pound, 2 ounce, 18 1/2 inch baby girl with very black hair and a cute little face. 

For me, it is such an honor and an unforgettable experience to be able to see my niece and nephew being born.  My sister did a great job in both deliveries and now she is closing down the baby growing shop, so I guess that was my last live birth experience until my kids have babies and then I will force my presence upon them in the delivery room whether they like it or not.  Hey, I’m pretty much a professional leg holder now.  That is my job; I held one of Molly’s legs back while she pushed during both deliveries.  I have recently been informed that I am a superior leg holder to Nima, which I take as a major compliment, although I shouldn’t since husbands don’t generally do anything right in the delivery room. 

I like this baby blessing, and I dedicate this to my new niece Lily:

Jewish Baby Blessing

In every birth, blessed is the wonder.
In every creation, blessed is the new beginning.
In every child, blessed is life.
In every hope, blessed is the potential.
In every transition, blessed is the beginning.
In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.
In every love, blessed are the tears.
In every life, blessed is the love. 

 

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Halloween 2010 November 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:44 pm

The last couple of Halloween’s have been synonymous to misery for me, and I believe for Chris also.  The first one, at 6 months, was painful for everyone involved, except Ava.  We dressed the triplets up in their cheesy little baby costumes and they screamed and cried all the way to the park.  The second year, we dressed Ava in a Go-Go Dancer costume, which she chose on her own, and the triplets were various wild animals.  They were slightly more tolerable of them at 1 1/2 than they were at 6 months.  Mom and dad were still fairly miserable though.  We strolled them to a few houses with the help of some neighbors and then we called it quits.  Phew, another obligatory Halloween over.  Check. 

The triplets first Halloween. Don't be fooled by the smiling faces.

Our annual neighborhood group photo

Our second annual Halloween photo with the triplets. Aren't they having a blast? And look how much fun we are having.

 

Our third Halloween. . . now we are having some fun people!

This year was a different story. I knew as Halloween approached that this year Ava wouldn’t be the only one out of a family of six having a good time.  We started out with our annual trip to our neighborhood park with all the neighbor friends, and then we headed out to trick or treating.  Ava was gone in a flash.  She was running from house to house with her friends and we never saw her again for the rest of the time we were trick or treating.  We were definitely too slow for her, but we missed her.  The triplets kept saying, “where Ava go?”  I wish that she was with us.  The triplets got the hang of trick or treating by the first house.  They would knock on the door and say “trick or treat!” or sometimes “can I please have candy?” and then they would invite themselves in.  They don’t know the trick or treating boundaries yet, so they would walk in and Elsa would comment on their decor and they would help themselves to some candy.  We were invited to stay for dinner at several houses; the triplets were quite the trick or treating sensation in Eastwood Park.  At a few houses the person who was handing out candy would call for their spouse, “Hank, you have to some see this. . .  quick!” 

Violet, who is very passionate about everything she does or loves in life, insisted on wearing Chris’s ghetto winter cap with her adorable pumpkin fairy costume.  She also insisted on wearing her striped slippers with her costume.  She loved the ensemble so much that she wouldn’t take it off to go to sleep. She slept the whole night in her pumpkin fairy costume with ghetto hat and striped slippers; and then she wore the outfit the entire next day, even at the gym.  I would never dream of getting in the way of Violet and her life passions. 

The Queen Mother and her princesses and handy construction worker Preston

Neighborhood group shot. Look at the clueless construction worker.

Angela the Mad Hatter had to step in and help the clueless construction worker fit into the crowd.

Going door to door. So cute.

They wanted to trick or treat until 8 . . . they thought it was just about the best thing that has ever happened to them. Violet going to sleep in her costume

 

Don’t even think about taking this costume off, says Violet with her eyes.

Wednesday we got all the kids their flu shots.  Chris took them one at a time back into the room to get them done.  Elsa hardly cried but she did discuss afterward the traumatic events that had taken place.  Preston cried a little bit like he was so hurt that someone would want to stick a needle in him.  As we were waiting for Violet to get her shot done in the waiting room I could hear her screaming.  Chris said she knew the second she was in the room that she was going to get a shot and she wasn’t going to like it which was the time that she began screaming.  She was pretty pissed when she got back to the waiting room but a few lollipops helped make everything better.

I brought Ava after school but I didn’t tell her where we were going or what we were doing.  We showed up at the office and she was suspicious. “What are we doing at the doctor’s office mommy?”  “Oh, just getting a little checkup,” I said.  “Am I going to have to get a shot?” “I don’t know, you have to ask the nurse,” was the small white lie I told.  The nurse called, “Ava” to come into the back and Ava stood up and said, “am I going to have to get a shot?”  The nurse said yes.  Ava planted her feet into the ground and refused to go into the back.  She just stood there shaking her head no.  I bribed her with a treat and she eventually made it back to get it done.  She didn’t cry while the needle was in her arm, but she sure screamed after the whole ordeal was done.  As we were walking back out to the waiting room there was a PA carrying a delicious looking popsicle. Ava was staring at it, sure that it was for her.  The PA sensed that she was going to need to give Ava the popsicle, so she stopped and handed it over to her.  Ava’s traumatic flu shot event miraculously disappeared upon first lick.
 
Proud mommy moment: Ava gave her first presentation yesterday on a chapter book called “Night of the Ninjas”.  Chris and Ava worked pretty hard at putting something great together.  Chris, of course, asked if he could come watch Ava give her presentation and he was denied by the teacher.  Ava’s teacher emailed Chris after her presentation and told Chris that Ava just did a wonderful job.  Ava volunteered to go first.   She never read from her paper, she spoke clearly and kept constant eye contact.  In the end she asked if anyone had questions and she answered three questions about the book.  Ava’s teacher gave her an “Advanced 4” on the rubric.  
Until next time, the mothership is signing off.