Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

Camp Woolsey July 27, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 5:04 am

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I was having a difficult summer last year due to the convergence of several different circumstances.  I needed something for myself, to make myself feel good and to call my own.  When I saw my cousin’s yoga retreat come through on email I knew that I had to do it.  I realized the other day that I have been doing yoga at least three times a week for exactly a year now.  Just wanted to note it because I do feel like it is an accomplishment that I can be proud of; something that I have devoted myself to that isn’t small, adorable and demanding.  This August my sister will be joining me for the second annual Bhakti Yoga Retreat in Yosemite.

Chris recently took Ava and Preston on a two-night camping trip at Sly Park Lake, which I thought was very ambitious of him. Nima and Ronin joined in for an afternoon/evening.

I learned a few things about my family during the afternoon that I brought the little girls up to the campsite.

  1. While Chris is not organized in other parts of his life, he is a very meticulous and organized camper.  He had all the camping stuff down to a science from food to trash to a water basin for washing dishes.  I was impressed.
  2. My daughter Ava is an outdoorsy little lady.  She absolutely loves to be a part of the outdoors and enjoys all of the adventures that go along with camping.  Ava would fish for hours at a time and would not give up until she caught a fish.  She rowed herself and Preston and Chris across the entire lake and back by herself in the canoe.  She hiked.  She swam in the lake.  Ava loves the outdoors.
  3. Preston at only 3 years old can hang for three days out in the wilderness without problems.
  4. If you need a good campsite, seriously, Chris has found the absolute best campsite at Sly Park Lake in my opinion.  Chris and Ava found it last year when they were kayaking around the lake.
  5. Next year the kids are all ready to camp.  It won’t be easy but it will be a wonderful adventure.

While camping, a hiker tipped Chris off to a bald eagle sitting in a tree that he saw along his hike.  Chris, Ava and Preston took off to check out this bald eagle and check out this awesome picture he got of this eagle.  In fact, the collection of pictures that Chris took on this camping trip are some of the best pictures he has ever taken.

I feel like I have a lot to say but instead of pontificating, I will let my thousand pictures tell their story.


During their time viewing the bald eagle, a biker came by to enjoy the rare sight with Chris, Ava and Preston.  The biker in a moment of reflection says to Ava and Preston, “this is a once in a lifetime opportunity.  You may never see a bald eagle again.  Look at me, I’m 50 and this is the first time I’ve ever seen one!”  Ava quickly replies, “well I’m only 6 and I’ve already seen one.”

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Old Friends July 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 4:54 am

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I have been lonely for my friends lately.  You know, those kinds of friends that you have had forever and that even though you may be in different parts of the state, country or world, it is like you have never been apart for more than a day when you finally see each other again.  I am talking about those friends who know you and what you are all about because they have known you through all the different stages of your life; the starving student stage, the empty nesters stage, the mom stage, etc.

There is definitely an element of isolation that has come with having triplets. When you have four young children you don’t generally find yourself hosting many dinner parties, attending many events or hopping on planes with the kids to go on vacation.  Most often, Chris and I find ourselves too exhausted to have people over or even bring our kids over to someone else’s house for dinner.  The work required in managing all the small children alone is literally mentally and physically demanding.  It will get easier, of course.  Sometimes I imagine myself out in my nice backyard with all my friends and we are all elegantly holding our glasses of wine in our hands while our kids play peacefully with each other and leave me alone for a bit to socialize with my friends.  I see it happen with all my other friends who have older kids so I know it is possible.  I will just be patient and wait and maybe my small dream will come true.

So, it came at a good time as I was wallowing in the mire a bit, that we planned a spontaneous getaway with our wonderful long-time friends Nicola and Paul and their son Kei.  Kei is five.  Ava and Kei get along great.  Nicola and Paul have big jobs in the city and it is difficult to get together with them. Chris and I have lots of kids in the country so it is difficult to get together with us. Paul and I researched the Internet for a nice big house close to the ocean that we could meet for the weekend and decompress and catch up.  We ended up in a five-bedroom home with a hot tub and a lot of bottles of wine and champagne.

The triplets aren’t at the easiest age so I was a little apprehensive but I already sent Nicola a text earlier in the week giving her the Woolsey disclaimer:  this won’t be the most relaxing weekend you’ve ever had!  The weekend was a success.  The weather sucked with major fog the first two days, but we still went to the beach and the kids explored and played in the shallows of the water.  At night the adults drank a ton of wine, went hot tubbing and played the Apples to Apples boardgame.  In the olden days BK (before kids), Nicola, Paul, Chris and I went on some extravagant trips to South Africa and France.  On our last big trip through France we rented rooms in B & B’s as we found them amongst the vineyards and within the city walls.  Most of the time there was a nice room and an even nicer room.  To solve this dilemma of which couple would get the nicest room in that particular B & B, we would play this board game that Nicola and Paul brought from England, and the winner would get the best room.  Before leaving on the trip Paul asked if we should play the game for the master bedroom.  But seeing as times have changed and I now have four small children, I figured they could have that nice upstairs peaceful quiet master bedroom and Chris and I would take the kids quarters downstairs.  It was all good.

In the end I was happy that the weekend was a big success and we got to bond with some old friends and catch up.

Then on Chris’s 37th birthday we went out to dinner with our other good old friends Willie and Lesley, who currently are living in Belgium, therefore we do not see them much.  We all met when we were first in college living at the dorms.  The four of us had so much to talk about last night that we closed down the restaurant we were eating at.  All of a sudden I looked back and there were about six staff members standing in the back with their arms crossed staring at us. That was our exist cue.   So then we went to get our complimentary Starbucks that Will buys us every time we see each other and that was also closed.  So naturally the boys decided to do what boys do and create a competition for themselves.  The competition was running the stretch of the parking lot as fast as they could and then dropping for 30 push-ups.  Lesley and I were the gorgeous fan club/judges.

I got my friend fix this past week and now I am completely freaking exhausted.

And last post I forgot to post these adorable pictures of my boy fishing with Gramps and John.  Check them out.  That boy can’t get any cuter in my humble unbiased opinion.  Look at that nice fish he caught.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.


Summer Happenings July 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 9:34 pm

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There are many discussion topics on the table tonight from the Woolsey 6 household and here are the discussion points as follows in no particular order:

  1. the USA arrival of the best darn Aussies in all of Australia
  2. Chris and Megan’s annual anniversary trip to the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn where we came up close and personal with celebrities
  3. The binkie fairy arrives
  4. My 6-year-old has Bieber Fever

The binkie fairy made her long-awaited arrival last Friday.  I have been waiting three months for her to come, not because I was excited, but because I was anxious.  I have three kids who are so addicted to their binkie that they will take “hits” of their binkie throughout the day when they know they aren’t allowed to have it.  I will go upstairs and find one of them, or all of them, cowering in the corner of their room feeding their addiction really quickly before they get caught in the act.

Violet had this binkie that was very special to her.  It was yellow and it had a picture of a kangaroo on it.  She called it her “yeyo binkie” When I told her the binkie fairy was coming to take all the binkies away and give them to all the fairy babies who need them more she said, “ok, but not my special yeyo one!”

So when Friday came Ava wrote a special note to the binkie fairy on behalf of her beloved brother and sisters and we went around the house and collected the binkies.  Violet kissed her special “yeyo” binkie a few times before placing it gently in the bag and I teared up significantly.  I know it is just a binkie but it is such a big part of those kids lives and how they comfort themselves.  I felt so sad for them and then I felt sad for us because we may lose the nap and many issues may ensue with the departure of the binkie.

The binkie fairy came that day and dropped off special backpacks for all the kids in leu of the binkies.  They loved their presents from the binkie fairies and now instead of sleeping with binkies they have to sleep with their special backpacks every night, and they carry them around all day.

As with all changes and big events affecting kids, the kids adjusted beautifully.  We have had a few hiccups in the transition, with this being the sixth day without binkies. There have been many days without naps. The night before last Preston was wide awake almost the entire night, which could possibly be because he didn’t have his binkie to put him back to sleep. Maybe that is why I showed up at the gym today having forgotten to apply makeup and with my sports shirt on inside out which the daycare lady kindly informed me by whispering in my ear. The triplets have asked politely for their binkies but haven’t whined, cried or begged for them, which is kind of them.

In other news we have our favorite Aussies here visiting us for the month.  They are staying with my parents.  I like the story about how we know and love John and Bette from Australia.  Around year 1968 my grandparents on my mom’s side were in a hotel bar in Rome.  John and Bette were in this same bar.  In those days it was very posh to wear lapel pins.  My Gramps had his Great Britain pin on and John had his Australian pin on and these pins created a conversation between the two gentlemen.  My grandparents and John and Bette ended up partying the night away in this hotel bar in Rome and our families have been great friends ever since. We have so much fun with our favorite Aussies when they come from around the globe, and my kids love them!  This is the first time John and Bette have met the triplets, but because of the blog I think John and Bette feel that they know the triplets even though they live at the other side of the world.

Chris and I spent some time at our favorite place, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. We have made this place our little anniversary spot for the third year running.  The first year we went it was only for a night and I told Chris “if we only just had one more night here it would be perfect!”  The second year, last year, we went for two nights this time and I said, “Chris, if only we could s

tay one more night than this it would be so heavenly!”  So this year we booked three nights and I do think it was perfect.  I don’t know though  . . . maybe next year we just won’t come back.

So we had a celebrity encounter in the lobby on the first day.   It was John Krasinksi (from The Office and one of my favorite movies Away We Go) and Emily Blunt (first played in The Devil Wears Prada).  They were hanging around the lobby with their dog checking in at the same time as us.  We saw them several times over the next few days and if John ever made eye contact with people we may have just invited them to dinner with us.  Hey!  We are fun guys and we like wine.   Maybe we should have been wearing our lapels as a conversation starter.

Anyway, as Chris always says, the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn delivers.  It is fun, beautiful, luxurious and relaxing and I urge everyone to go give it a stay.

Ava and Preston attended their first concert a few weeks ago; Jackie Greene at Fairytale Town in Sacramento.  They were so excited to go.  We met Molly, Nima, Ronin, John and Bette and my parents there.  Preston was sporting a black fedora hat that evening which garnered a lot of attention from the masses as well as a smile and a wink from Jackie Greene himself.  The kids thought it was great fun. When I got in the car to take them home I asked Ava if she liked the concert and if she would like to go again next year.  She said, “can we go see Justin Bieber next year instead?”  What?  This came out of left field.  I have never heard her mention Justin Bieber before.   The whole way home we listened to Justin Bieber instead of Jackie Greene.  My first-born is getting to be a big girl.

The Woolsey 6 are headed to Dillon Beach this weekend with our good old friends Nicola, Paul and Kei this weekend.  I will have pictures and update to follow.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.