Woolsey Family Chronicles

Documenting the journey of raising triplets and their wild big sister

WTF Wednesday February 29, 2012

Filed under: wtf wednesday — The Hip Mothership @ 3:18 pm
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I stopped by Old Navy the other day.  It yielded anti-frugal results.

I had spent all of January and half of February in a shopping cleanse.  I must say, not spending money and buying on impulse is exhilarating.  I would see fabulous sales on the Garnet Hill or Athleta websites and I would be forced to ask myself, “do I really need this item, or do I just WANT it.”  The answer was always “i just want it.”  What I NEEDED was to spend $350 on gas and $350 0n my electric bills in one month, apparently.

I had a sort of binge session at Old Navy the other day, and the above image is the receipt I have to show for it.

WTF.

Sadly, this receipt is only 3/4 of the actual receipt since the full receipt was ripped accidentally.

Old Navy was having an incredible sale on kids’ clothing. Unbelievable.  The bottom line is that I just can’t pass up incredible deals when faced with adorable children’s clothing.  So, I bought bathing suits, shorts, sundresses, fancy girls’ shoes.

I spent $450 at Old Navy.  I saved $250.  In other words I bought $650 in clothing.  I like to spin it like this: I needed some birthday presents for my little girls who love pretty things, so I bought them some birthday presents and saved $250!

I did use my Old Navy credit card and, as the very friendly gay spunky Old Navy employee informed me, I am going to be receiving a whole $20 back in Old Navy Bucks.

So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Triplet’s 4th Birthday February 22, 2012

Filed under: birthday — The Hip Mothership @ 7:08 pm
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Elsa Marin, 3 lbs., 11 oz.

Violet June - 3 lbs., 3 oz.

Preston James - 3 lbs., 10 oz.

Photos courtesy of the wonderful and talented Brenda Bisharat (bisharatphotos.com)

Every year when February rolls around I can’t help but think of the very interesting February I had one year; four years ago now.

I was put in the hospital on February 1st, 2008 where I lay for 3 weeks trying to keep three babies in my belly for as long as possible. It was an interesting experience of growth both physically and mentally. While I tried to keep my babies safe inside my overstretched womb, I was alone in my hospital bed reading, typing, thinking, watching TV and being invaded by lovely nurses at all hours to monitor my babies. I had a lot of time by myself. I had a lot of time to think about my life and how three babies were going to fit in to it. I made it my mission to keep these babies inside for as long as I could.

I spent the entire night of February 22nd laying in agony. Preston was lodged underneath my left ribcage because he had nowhere else to go. His sisters were invading his space, which is a situation he still finds himself in. The nurses were forced to give me a painkiller, which I had managed to avoid the entire pregnancy.

That morning my perinatologist came in and told me that enough is enough. “You have done well enough. It is time to deliver these babies,” she said. I was 33 1/2 weeks pregnant. I hoped to get to 34 weeks, but based on the kind of pain I had experienced the night before, 33 1/2 weeks seemed sufficient.

I cannot express in words how excited I was to see my babies. I had given everything I had to take care of them and nurture them inside my body. I had given a lot of myself in the past 7 1/2 months. It had been difficult from the start to carry three babies. Chris and Ava had sacrificed by not having their wife and mom around.

Midday, February 22, 2008, I delivered three beautiful perfect babies. The gravity of the situation was intense, and I should’ve been scared or nervous, but all I felt was excitement. I couldn’t wait to see them. I couldn’t wait to make sure they were all okay. One at a time those babies were pulled from my body and the doctor showed me their tiny little bodies by lifting them up over the curtain separating my upper body and lower body.

The most surprising part of the day was when the nurses brought each baby to me and lay them on my chest. This is the most precious picture that Brenda took that day. In situations like these, delivering higher order multiples, one can hope for the best but expect the worst. I never imagined I would be able to hold my babies right when they came out. I had visions of them being whisked away to the NICU to be monitored and possibly be put on ventilators.

The night I delivered my triplets I could not sleep. I was so excited that, dressed only in my revealing hospital gown, I made my way to the NICU to see my babies. I held them and loved them. They were tiny, all weighing in the 3 pound range, but they were healthy.

Today, I seriously can not believe that these little 3 pound babies are now 4 years old. Each year has come with its wonderful moments and its difficult ones. There have been plenty of days that I have felt a little sorry for myself. With triplets, everything is a little bit harder. It is harder to go places, harder to go to public bathrooms, harder to load and unload the car, harder at mealtime, more messes to clean up, and the list goes on. Yet, it is slowly getting easier. It isn’t the kids that are hard, it is the pack, the sheer number of kids. Individually, each triplet is very well-behaved and fun to be around. But they are hardly ever an “individual”. They travel in a pack. It is this “pack” that is difficult. It is not rocket science, it is pure and simple math: one three-year old child is manageable, and each additional three-year old child added on becomes that much more challenging.

This past year they have started preschool where they have made new friends and learned a lot. They have grown more independent and their language is so fun to listen to. They can be without each other but they enjoy being together. They play with each other, and with Ava, all day. It is amazing to watch how sweetly they interact with each other and how passionately they can fight with each other.

It hasn’t been a particularly easy year this last year, but it has been an eventful one. We said goodbye to binkies, diapers and pull ups, cribs, baby plates and silverware this year.

They each have their own wonderful qualities. They are very different from each other. Elsa is very mature, probably the most mature out of all four of my children. She is a quick learner, a sweet and loving girl. She is a born princess and loves to look and act beautiful.

Violet is the most passionate and compassionate child I have ever met. If she loves something, she loves it with all of her heart. If she is mad, she is furious. She is full of love, and she has an awesome sense of humor. Violet will work hard at something until she gets it right – she has the gift of persistence and a hard-working personality.

Preston is the most lovely boy. He is all boy, which amuses me every day. He is a hoarder of things, and he loves gardening with manly garden tools. He loves me so much and is not afraid to show his love. He has been described by others as being very demonstrative. He is my handsome boy. His papa says that he looks like he is straight of a Normal Rockwell painting.

Happy 4th birthday to the best darn set of triplets in the world.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

New Neighbors February 21, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Hip Mothership @ 12:13 am

When I learned my neighbors right next door to us were short selling their home I began to panic. Who would my new neighbors be? After all, they do live right next door to me. I can see their house from my front and back yard. They can somewhat see our backyard through the forest of Redwood trees we planted so our neighbors could not seeing us skinny dipping in our hot tub.

Not that the neighbors we have had for the last five years were that great. The dad was always screaming at his teenage son. He would smoke in his backyard, which would inconveniently waft to our backyard. There were also the slew of animals on the property. The lady of the house worked at an animal rescue facility so there were a number of animals in and out of that place at all times. Their cats would come and poop in our backyard and in our sandbox that I eventually got rid of.

Neighbors are a big deal. So I began to imagine what kind of person was going to move into this house next to us. Would they have vicious dogs that barked at all hours of the day and night? Would they be old and grumpy? Would they be missing any important front teeth?

Much to my sheer delight, I learned that my new neighbors are very young cool people, and their son is in Ava’s 2nd grade class. They also have a daughter who is only a year younger than Ava. When Ava learned her friends were moving in next door she called everyone she could to tell them the excellent news. She said “now I can have a play date every day!”

Well, so far she has had a play date every day practically. It is insanely good in every way. Now instead of having four kids playing in my yard in the afternoon, I have six, which is great.

The neighbor parents are around our age (spring chickens).  The mom went to high school with my sister.  We have mutual friends. It is going to be a fun summer of laying next to the pool sipping gin and tonics or martinis while we watch our kids play in our pool.

Now maybe my neighbor on the other side will move out and a set of four-year old triplets will move in.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

WTF Wednesday February 15, 2012

Filed under: American Girl Doll white trash cousin,wtf wednesday — The Hip Mothership @ 5:26 pm

This afro nappy hair hot mess is Eva. She is a disaster. She wasn’t always this way, though.  She used to be well-groomed, preppy and attractive.  Now she looks like she has had an addiction to methamphetamines for the past two years, or perhaps she is a crack-head.

Ava is concerned about the state of Eva’s hair.  She wants it combed and she wants Eva to look presentable.  A few weeks ago on the way home from the bus stop she randomly asked me if I would help her fix Eva’s hair when we got home.  Kendall, who I also drive home from the bus stop, piped in that she would help Ava fix Eva’s hair because she has lots of American Girl dolls and she is very good at fixing their hair.

Here is the problem.  Eva is not an American Girl doll.  A few years ago for Christmas Ava asked for an American Girl doll.  Chris and I debated about whether we should buy her this doll for months.  American Girl dolls are expensive — around $150 — and Ava had previously never shown interest in dolls.  She didn’t pick up and play with a single doll until her little sisters became interested in them.  So, we thought, is it wise to buy such an expensive doll for someone who may never play with her?

We went to Target and bought Eva. Eva was the $20 knockoff of the American Girl doll. Quite a bargain.  Eva is the white trash trailer park cousin to her American Girl doll counterpart.  To this day, Ava has absolutely no idea that Eva is the white trash cousin.  She thinks she has a real American Girl doll.  It is brilliant.

The problem is, that when Kendall told Ava that she was going to comb Eva’s hair because “she is so good at combing American Girl doll hair,” I was concerned.  No, Eva does not have American Girl doll hair.  I don’t know what they made Eva’s hair out of at some sweatshop in China, but it is definitely not soft and luxurious and fixable like American Girl doll hair.  Eva’s hair is corse and feels like it may be filled with chemicals.  I could barely run a brush through it.  I tried for way too long to get Eva’s hair to a presentable place, but it is just not possible.

Yesterday Ava came up to me holding Eva and she said it her most sad and pathetic voice, “momma, Eva has a broken leg!”  Sure enough, Eva’s leg had suffered some sort of trauma because it half hanging off her cheap plastic hip-joint.

Eva has issues.

The bottom line is that Eva needs to go to rehab.  Ava and I cannot help her.  Kendall cannot help her.  No one can.  She needs to help herself.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

 

Spelling Bee February 11, 2012

Filed under: spelling bee — The Hip Mothership @ 2:46 pm

Ava competed in the spelling bee again this year.  Chris wasn’t going to go watch this year after he nearly had a nervous breakdown watching her in the spelling bee last year.  I didn’t know if I wanted to go because it seemed too nerve-wracking for me also.  I told Ava, “I don’t know if mommy and daddy will come watch this year because we get really nervous.”  I felt really stupid telling my 7-year-old that her adult parents weren’t mature enough to be able to sit and watch her spell words that are easy for her to spell at the school spelling bee.

Ava, who is still at the age where she wants us to come to everything that happens at her school, was upset that we weren’t going to go.  Since that is how she felt, of course I was going to go.

The spelling bee lasted a very long time.  It was difficult to cut enough spellers this year.  The judges needed only six spellers to go on to the next round.  The parents and I sat, word after word, wondering if our children managed to spell them correctly.  Some examples of words were president and quiet; those are the only words I can remember.

Ava didn’t miss a single word until the end of the contest. In Ava fashion, she missed the very easiest word, and the one word we had talked about going in to the spelling bee.  The word was “I’ll”.  She missed it because she spelled it with a lower case “I”.  She came to me so upset because she assumed since she missed one word that she would be out of the spelling bee.  That was not the case though, since a minute later her name was the first one called for being one of the six super spellers to go on to the next round.

I manage to keep my cool and contain myself well through the entire morning.  Ava was confident and not nervous at all, going in to the spelling be, as usual.

In May, Ava will compete in the big spelling bee with all the other schools. Chris and I will be there to cheer her on. I will give Chris a Valium before we go.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

WTF Wednesday February 8, 2012

Filed under: new age,wtf wednesday — The Hip Mothership @ 7:43 pm
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New Age Beverage?

WTF?

I found this sign while I was shopping for a few things at Food 4 Less. Now, I don’t usually shop at Food 4 Less because even though you can save a lot of money there, the ambience is lacking. Plus, you are forced to bag your own groceries, which never seems like it should be my job. Food 4 Less is good for Mexican foods, which is what I needed the day I found myself there.

So I literally did a screeeeeeeech. Backed up my cart (beep, beep, beep) and stared at this sign for a while.

What is a new age beverage?

I’ve heard of a lot of new age stuff. I know a lot of people who would fit absolutely perfectly under the title of “new age”. There are the avid Whole Foods shoppers, yogis, people who practice Reiki, meditation, those who only eat food grown on their organic farms, Dr. Deepak Choprah, Dr. Wayne Dyer, new age music, the Age of Aquarius, astrology, and crystal healing.

So WTF is a new age beverage? I googled it. It turns out that it is a brand name. New Age Beverage produces Aspen Pure Rocky Mountain water as well as All Natural Xintea- a blend of back and green tea. Also falling into the “new age category” are energy drinks.

The most favorite thing I found about “new age” is the following YouTube video. It turns out I have a touch of “new age” myself.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.

 

Super Bowl Success . . . And I’m Not Talking Football February 6, 2012

Filed under: Super Bowl — The Hip Mothership @ 7:42 pm

I am not in this picture. I forgot my phone and couldn't take pictures so enjoy this one in place of the real picture. Just keep in mind that me and my ladies are far more attractive. 🙂

Not every weekend at the Woolsey house is a fun one; especially in the winter when we cannot get the kids outside to play as easily.  Some weekends I am over life at about 9am, wondering what we will do to fill the rest of the day with all these kids of ours.

But as the kids get older, I do feel that things may be starting to get easier.  Our Super Bowl Sunday turned into a day of parties, which in the past would have been quite stressful for Chris and I, trying to manage four young children at someone else’s house; wondering if everyone at the party was watching us thinking “what a circus” or “they have their hands full” or our personal favorite “boy, I thought I had it bad with my two kids and then I see you guys and I don’t feel so bad about my situation anymore.”

We went next door to our new neighbors’ Lea and Ryan’s house (read the entry on our new neighbor’s coming in a few days) for the first half of the Super Bowl, and to our other neighbor friend’s house Ed and Heidi for the second half.  The kids were all ecstatic to be going to parties.  I do appreciate my kids’ love of a good party.  We walked over a few bushes and across a lawn to get to the party, which was most conveniently close.  Preston brought his garden tools, including the lawnmower, trimmer and weed wacker.  Ava brought herself with all of her crazy energy.  She had about seven friends from school at the party which meant non-stop playing for hours.  The little girl’s immediately found the girl’s room in the house, which included a stroller, stuffed animals and dolls, and they traded off playing with the stroller all afternoon.

Other than feeding those kids some wieners, chips, olives and cupcakes, the food of Super Bowl champions, I did not see them.  Instead, the mommies gathered around the kitchen and drank some mysterious cocktail that Lea made, which included Mike’s Hard Lemonade, iced tea, vodka to name a few ingredients.

We did not have crying, whining, complaining, harassing, tattling, fighting, or general bad behavior from our children one time during the course of the Super Bowl evening, which lasted from 3 until 7:30.

Chris and I have dreamed of this day for four years.  We have dreamed of the day when we can take all four of our kids somewhere and we aren’t running around like maniacs trying to accommodate every one and put out fires along the way.

This is not to say that we are altogether done spending way too much time accommodating cute little people and putting out fires at dinner parties, but I could tell that we had made it past some of the hardest times.

I remember having a conversation with a dad of quadruplets — three girls and a boy.  Like us, they also have an older daughter.  So basically, our multiples scenario plus one.  My triplets were just babies at the time, and they were good babies and Chris and I had a nanny throughout the week, which was extremely helpful. I wasn’t feeling the stress and overwhelming nature of triplets too badly yet.  This dad of quads was describing some of what they had been through with his then 3-year-old quads.  At the end he stopped, and with a far away look he said, “we were really put through the ringer.”  It wasn’t so much what he said right then that affected me, but how he said it.  He seems to be in such a far away place remembering the stress and emotion that he and his wife felt being torn in so many directions.

Through this last year, I have remembered him a lot as I have felt that we are “being put through the ringer” by having to manage three-year old triplets with all of their needs and meltdowns and sibling rivalry, along with a seven-year old child who requires a lot of constant stimulation.

So yesterday felt like a milestone.

As our family of six invaded down on our next Super Bowl party, the kids dispersed and kicked in to full play mode while our friends and Chris and I sat at the kitchen table and enjoyed some soup.

As the Super Bowl came to an end, me watching a total of 5 minutes of the entire game, Chris and I embraced.  Not because New York won the Super Bowl.  We embraced because we have been through a lot in the past four years and we both knew that we were arriving at the promised land.  The “it will only get easier” phase of raising multiples that we have been promised by other parents of multiples.

Every stage of parenting comes with its unique challenges and rewards; I love and appreciate this fact.  Zero to five is the I am strong-willed and know everything and want everything when I want it yet I really can’t do everything for myself yet stage. Six to ten are the school years where their brains are growing and learning and as parents we must be on top of school work and social development.  Eleven and twelve are the tween years, the dreaded middle school years, where school is kicked up a big notch in difficulty and kids are experimenting and beginning to rebel.  Thirteen to 18 — the teen years.  Dun Dun Dun (the dramatic sound).  Enough said.

Nobody ever said it was easy taking a 7 pound (on average) wrinkly little helpless baby and turning them in to a happy, successful adult.  Most of us are just doing the best we can as parents and appreciating those moments where we feel we have achieved along the way.

Until next time, the mothership is signing off.