No One Can Pick On My Brother But Me

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Spring is starting to roll into our area, so the kids and I have been taking advantage of beautiful weather days by visiting the playground.

Swinging 600x277 No One Can Pick On My Brother But MeThese first visits of the season are some of my favorite.  Not only does it feel great to get out of the house after the long winter – I LOVE seeing how much they’ve grown over the winter.  Thing they struggled with last year are now easily done.

This year they are also interacting with each other in a whole new ways.  For example:

I looked across the playground and noticed a little girl, about the same age as my three, giving Ben a very stern lecture.  I’m not sure what he did to offend her, but given the look on her face, it must have been pretty bad.  Poor Ben was corwarding away from her, with his tail stuck between his legs, obviously remorseful.

Before I could intervene, Cassie ran up to the little girl with a face just as stern as hers and started telling her, “No, No.  Mean.  My boy!”  While the little girl limped off, licking her wounds, Cassie turned to Ben and gave him a big hug, patting him on the back “It’s OK Ben.  I here”

Playground Fun 600x546 No One Can Pick On My Brother But Me

I was so proud of my little girl, sticking up for her brother like that.  Maybe this whole sibling rivalry thing won’t be so bad.  But then, wait, not 15  minutes before Cassie pushed Ben to the ground for taking “her” toy.

At least I have one positive sibling memory to hold on too.

Post 600: A Little Catch-Up

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This is officially my 600th post!  When my 300th post started nearing, I kept careful count and planned what I would say.  I can’t say it was anything spectacular, but it was planned

That was over two years ago.

This time, like so many things in my life right now, post 600 sneaked up on me.  I was about to hit publish on another post when I happened to notice my published count was at 599.  Hmm, guess I should do something special for this post.  (Why 600 and not 500? I have a thing for divisible by three – always have.)

Post 600 A Little Catch UP 600x600 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

When I sat down to compose this “special” post, I couldn’t think of anything momentous to say.  Honestly, if you had asked me the end of last year, I probably would have told you I wouldn’t make it this far.  I had a rough winter and didn’t post much.  I very nearly quit – it wasn’t fun anymore.

And then something happened while writing the last few posts.  I remembered how fun it was when I was just sharing the everyday happens and my crazy thoughts.  I remembered how fun it was to blog for myself and not because I had too.  Maybe it’s the longer days and warmer weather – whatever it is, it feels good.

So what am I going to do with the rest of this post?  How about re-capping some of the things I didn’t get around to posting these last few months (in no particular order).

Snow Days

The kids have been so intrigued with the snow this year.  They are finally old enough to really go out and enjoy it.  When Cassie saw the first big snow of the season, she announced, “Mommy, I go out and catch snow on my tongue.”

Snow Day 2014 545x600 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

Frozen

Unfortunately, most of the snow was accompanied with bitter cold days, meaning we couldn’t go out and play.  So one Saturday morning, Alyssa and I decided to take the kids to see Frozen.  Our local theater is only $5 for the first show of the day and kids 3 and under are free if they can sit on a lap.  We rounded up a third lap (Alyssa’s friend Melanie) and headed to the theater.

I was a little worried they wouldn’t be able to sit through the whole thing, but decided for $15, it was worth the risk.  I’m happen to say, we made it through the whole thing!  They LOVED it – they were glued to the screen!

Frozen 600x546 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

Pneumonia

The kids started preschool in December and introduced their immune systems to a whole new set of germs.  We have had perpetual runny noses for the last four months.  Poor Ben has taken the brunt of it – and I’m pretty sure it’s because he decided to lick a chair in the Doctor’s waiting room.  A week before their birthday, he ended up in the ER with pneumonia.  Poor kid slept for DAYS!

Sick Ben 600x346 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

Suitcase Rides

When we met Aunt Julie and her (now) in-laws at their hotel when they flew in for the kids’ birthday/her Bridal Shower, Cassie and Ben “helped” her get her suitcase into the hotel.  It’s hard to find good help these days.

Suitcase Rides 600x275 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

Sleeping Anywhere

My back hurts just looking at some of the places these kids can fall asleep these days.

We Can Sleep Anywhere 545x600 Post 600: A Little Catch Up

Whew, I’m tired.  There are a few more things I could share, but I can’t put my hands on the pictures at the moment.  I hope you feel nice and caught up!

 How did you spend your winter?

Uncomfortable Conversations

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Any time the kids and I go out in public, I’m at risk for some very uncomfortable conversations.  I understand people’s fascination with multiples, but some people seem to lose their filter when they corner a Mother of Multiples.

Uncomfortable Conversations Uncomfortable Conversations

Let me walk through a real-life conversation I had on the playground yesterday:

Man: “Are they close in age?”
Me: “Yes, they’re triplets”
Man: “Seriously?  They don’t look alike”
Me: “They’re fraternal triplets, not identical”

Do you look exactly like your brother or sister?  I don’t.  Fraternal multiple are just siblings that happened to be born together.

Man: “That’s cool.  I bet it’s a lot of work”
What I Thought: Nah, I grew an extra set of hands.  I just haven’t yet cut out the arm holes in this shirt.
What I Said: “Yes, but it’s worth it”

The idea of caring for multiples is overwhelming and this is just their way of telling me I’m Super Women.  I can live with that.

Man: “We have three kids, but we spread them out – I imagine it’s not much different”
What I Thought: Did you seriously just say that?
What I Said: “I’m sure there are pros and cons to both situations”

Yes, the more kids you have the harder it gets and there really are a few advantages to having multiples – but there’s no way having three singletons can compare to having triplets.  Just like I would never assume I know what it’s like to have quads just because I occasionally watch my friend’s daughter.

Man: “So were they – um – natural, or did you use something?”
What I Thought: No, they aren’t, but aren’t they amazingly life-like.  Let me introduce you to my husband Gepetto.
What I Said: “I did IVF”

I have yet to figure out why people ask this question.  Does doing IVF make having multiples easier?  I wonder if it’s to imply that I somehow asked for it and therefore deserve the extra work.

Thank goodness my phone rang and ended the interrogation.  As painful as this conversation was, he did manage to miss a few things:

Them: “Were you surprised?”
Me: “No, I was horribly disappointed they didn’t find a forth.”

Of course I was surprised!  I’ve decided they really just want to hear the story of how I found out.  I think I should come up with a crazy, shocking story for them.  Any suggestions?

Them: “Did you have a C-Section?”
Me: “Yes, and I have pictures.  Wanna see?”

Why do people ask this one?  Morbid curiosity maybe?  Does it make a difference if I pushed them out one by one or if a doctor gutted me and pulled them out?

Them: “Do triplets run in your family?”
Me: “Hell yea – run, walk, climb things, wrestle, generally wreak havoc.”

I’ve decided people ask this for one of two reasons:

  1. To gauge my fertility history.  This question is then followed up by questions that cross into overly personal territory and question how “natural” my children are.
  2. To assess THEIR risk of multiples.  Honestly, this one is just plain funny.  I usually get a complete run down of their family history:  “My second cousin on my step-father’s side had twins.  Now it’s my turn.” The funniest time this happened was with a Nursing Assistant working with my Grandma.  She was newly pregnant with her third child.  I don’t remember which family member had twins, but it was “her turn.”  “Guess we’ll see next week.  Now I’m worried.  I hope there’s only one in there.”  Apparently my presence alone increased her chances of multiples.

Over the last three years I’ve become better at avoiding conversations like these (don’t make eye contact) – but they still catch my off guard when I can’t avoid them.

Filer people – learn to filter!

Strike!

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It’s really amazing the things kids pick up on.  Several weeks ago as we were leaving Springfield, the kids and I stopped at the bowling alley to say good-bye to Shane.  Andy looked around and gleefully announced “Bowling Mommy, like Caillou.  I bowl, Mommy!”  We had just watched an episode of Caillou where his Grandpa took him bowling and apparently it made an impression.  The other two picked up on it too and they all begged to go bowling.  For weeks they begged!

Last weekend, while we were in Springfield for my sister’s wedding, Shane arranged for the kids to bowl a few games.  When you mention to a group of ladies that an adorable set of toddler triplets would like to go bowling, they go out of their way to make it happen.  When we got there, a lane had already been set-up with a dinosaur ramp and two 7-lbs balls.

Andy and Cassie Bowling 600x546 Strike!

They picked up on it so quickly and had such a good time.  We weren’t sure how long their attention would last or how well they would take turns, but they did amazing!  Except for a few hiccups were I messed up the bowling order, each kid got to roll their two balls.  Ben even managed to get a Strike!

Ben Gets a Strike 600x546 Strike!

I should probably take this opportunity to explain who Shane it.  He and I have known each other for years, like pre-triplet years.  He and I have talked off and on through out this time, but nothing ever really developed between us – until the end of last year.  He and I have been officially dating since just after Christmas!  He is a really amazing guy and does great with the kids.

Shane with Kids 600x546 Strike!

So how well did they bowl?

Bowling Scores 02 28 14 600x312 Strike!

An average of 86 is better than mine!

A #DisneySide Play Date

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I’ve been turning down blogging gigs lately because, for some reason, I’ve lost my blogging mojo.  However, when I got an offer from Disney to host a #DisneySide Home Celebration and they’d send us a box of goodies for the party – I jumped on it! (Who doesn’t love Disney??)

DisneySide PlayDate 600x600 A #DisneySide Play Date

Since I just threw a big party for the kids’ birthday, I decided to just have a fun play date with some of our friends from the local Twin group (and my best friend and her two non-twin kids, of course).

I think they were expecting a simple play date, but when they saw the fun decorations Disney sent us, they knew this was no ordinary play date. You’d think with having three three-year-olds I’d have a pretty good idea how to entertain a group of 2 to 4 year olds – but I drew a blank. I had to scourer Pinterest for some ideas!!!

Follow Sarah Brandt’s board #DisneySide on Pinterest.

We started with a little coloring and balloon toss as everyone arrived.

Balloon Toss and Coloring 600x600 A #DisneySide Play Date

Then we moved on to a rousing game of Bucket Toss. Such a simple idea, but the kids LOVED it. I found three buckets in the Easter section at Michael’s and dug out some wiffle golf balls I got in the Target Dollar Spot a while back. I lined up the buckets, then lined up the kids and showed them how to toss the ball into each bucket one my one. I lost track of how many rounds we played.Pluto Toss 400x600 A #DisneySide Play Date

I had a couple more games planned, but someone spotted the cupcakes and decided it was time for a snack. I ran out of time to ice and decorate the cupcakes, so decided to let the kids decorate them themselves. Another BIG hit!! The large jar of sprinkles I bought for the party was gone by the time everyone left!

Decorate Your Own Cupcake 600x600 A #DisneySide Play Date

Oh, the best part about the playdate – NAPTIME!!! Between all the fun we had and the sugar high from the cupcakes, the kids sugar crashed – and crashed hard!!

I wish I had more pictures to show you, but I had such a good time hosting I forgot to pick up the camera!

This post was sponsored by Disney Side @Home Celebration!

The Banana Bread Incident

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Baking with toddlers is always fun, but requires a lot of patience!  Ben is my usual helper and always wants to “crack eggs”.  If he can reach the egg carton in the fridge before we catch him, he’ll crack eggs with or without us!

The Banana Bread Incident 600x450 The Banana Bread Incident

I was playing with my Christmas present… a Kitchen Aide Pro 600 – Woo Hoo!  We had an overabundance of very ripe bananas so I was planning a double batch of Banana Bread.  Ben and I started and washed our hands but were soon joined by the rest of the trio.  So we stopped and washed two more sets of hands.  We got everyone settled.  One kid on a chair by me and a kid on the counter to either side of me and the mixer.  Not an ideal cooking arrangement but it works.  We laid the ingredients out.  My recipe calls for 4 ripe bananas, 2 cups of flour and 2 eggs (among other things).  First we peeled the bananas and counted each one as we dropped it in.  None of the kids liked the junk on their hands, so we stopped and cleaned hands again at that point.  I continued peeling the bananas and put them in the mixing bowl myself but I wasn’t quite sure we had the count right – oh well, can’t have too many bananas.  I added the other wet ingredients… we went over to the dining table to crack the eggs for better access.  We ended up cracking 6 eggs instead of 4 because of the waste after I picked out all the shell!  Ben is pretty good by now but Andy and Cassie are still doing the “fist clench” method.  We had to wipe off hands after every egg since they hate the feel of egg on their hands too.

Back to the mixer… we get settled again and turn the mixer on for the wet ingredients.  Each kid gets to lean close to watch but I hold the hands of the watcher.  Never trust a 3 year old around moving equipment – especially Cassie – she has no fear!

Now we start counting cups of flour and other dry ingredients into a different bowl.  We count four cups together in chorus… “one, two, three, four”.  I turn away realizing that the salt wasn’t close and I hear behind me…”five, six”.  NO, STOP!  Cassie had taken it on herself to continue scooping out the cups of flour.  Hmm, throw out the dry or triple the recipe?  Since the sugar, baking powder and soda were already in the bowl, I couldn’t just remeasure the flour and start over.  My old mixer couldn’t handle a triple batch…could my new super professional mixer?  Hmm…Let’s give it a try!  I adjust the other dry ingredients and we troupe back over to the table to crack more eggs.  That took another 3 eggs because I was fishing out shell again and had to make sure each kid had an egg to crack.  Luckily, I had a stash of more bananas.  When bananas start to get overripe we stick them in the freezer.  They look horrible but work the same as the others.  That way I usually have bananas when I want to bake.

After another round of mixing, I get the kids down and shoo them away.  I can’t leave them on the counter by the mixer to pour the batter.  It’s too close to the oven to preheat with them where they are.  Again, never trust them!  I only had two bread pans out since I hadn’t intended to triple the recipe.  Four heads ended up poking into cabinets looking for another bread pan.  I couldn’t find one even though I have at least half a dozen.  Maybe because I couldn’t see in the cabinet due to the blocked light!  I did find a mini muffin tin and one of my mini-bread pans.  Then we go back to the table with our pans, pam and batter.  Everyone gets to help pour (and make a mess).  We have another messy hand crisis because of the batter on hands. (weird kids)

Fun’s over… I won’t let the kids near the oven.  During the baking they kept wanting me to open the oven to check the bread because I had allowed it one time!  The bread and muffins came out like a dream.  After they cooled, I gave each kid a muffin.  Ben spit his out, Andy took a small bite and handed it back, Cassie ate most of hers.  The rest of us gobbled warm bread and it was wonderful.  I really don’t understand these kids!  You’d think they’d love something they worked so hard to cook!

Lesson learned!  I don’t think I’m going to have the patience or stamina to cook with the trio again anytime soon!

- Grandma Laura

A Zoo-tastic 3rd Birthday

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Zoo Tastic Birthday A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

My original plans for the kids’ birthday this years was a quiet party at home AFTER the kids’ birthday.  Since they’ve been sick on their birthday every year, I thought it was a good idea to wait.

And then my sister got engaged and decided the day after the kids’ birthday was a great day to have her bridal shower.  She’d only have to fly in once  and we could make a weekend event out of it for all the extra family that would come up for the shower.  Great idea.  It really did make the most sence, but there was no way we could all fit in our house.

I searched and searched for something that would work for all of us.  Finding a place to for 11 kids wasn’t difficult, it was the 21 adults that threw a wrench in things.  Then I checked the Kansas City Zoo.  They could accommodate all of use PLUS their package includes cupcakes and ice cream, juice, all paper plates PLUS they would bring in a few small animals for the kids to see PLUS a ride on the Carousel.  Basically, we would just have to show up.  Awesome!!  With everything going on right now, I needed easy. (I did make a cupcake toppers to make the cupcakes a little more festive, but my contribution to the party fit in a sandwich baggie!)

Happy Birthday Toppers A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday Cupcake Toppers A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

We started with a game of Guess That Animal, and since there were far more adults than kids there, the adults were wonderful and played along.  Any idea what animal Aunt Nancy is?

Rino Nancy A Zoo tastic 3rd BirthdayA Rhinoceros!

Then the animals came out for a visit!  We got to see a Lop Eared Rabbit.

Andy Petting Bunny A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

A red Tomato Frog from Madagascar.

The Tomoato Frog A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

And finally a rather large tortoise.

Hello Mr Tortoise A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

No party is complete without a little cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday To You A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday Cupcake and Ice Cream A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday I Scream For Ice Cream A Zoo tastic 3rd BirthdayThe cupcakes were a little stale, but that didn’t seem to stop anyone from eating them.

Yummy Cupcake A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

We rounded out the party with a ride on the Carousel (sorry, no pictures) and a visit to the new Penguin exhibit.

Andy Ben and Penguins A Zoo tastic 3rd BirthdayPengiun Watching A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

Oh yea, the zoo even gave each child a baby penguin of their very own – stuffed of course.  Andy didn’t want to let his go!

Andy and His Penguin A Zoo tastic 3rd Birthday

All in all, a good time was had by all!  I still can’t believe I have three 3-year-olds

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.

 

The Great Kindle Heist

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Kindle Heist 600x399 The Great Kindle Heist

It’s nearly mid-night and I’m finally laying down to sleep.  I’ve had a very busy day and I’m looking forward to my nice, comfy bed.  I begin drifting off to sleep when I hear shrieks from the next room.  

“Mine”

“No, Mine”

“Mmmyyyyyyy turn”

What is going on in there??

I walk into the trio’s room and find all three kids piled in Cassie’s bed, huddled around a Kindle.  Apparently, they smuggled one to bed and had been quietly watching Daniel Tiger for the last several hours.  How they all kept quiet for that long I’ll never know and if they hadn’t gotten too tired to take turns, they might have gotten away with it.

These kids are getting craftier and craftier and are so much smarter than I give them credit for.  (And the Kindle has some incredible battery life!)

On the plus side, they slept until nearly 9:00 am, allowing me some nice quiet time before the chaos!

 

Birthday Interview with Cassie Age 3

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Happy Birthday Cassie 600x400 Birthday Interview with Cassie Age 3

How old are you?

“I free”

What’s your favorite color?

“I like…ahh…ahh…Pink!”

What makes you happy?

“I, I, I Happy”

What is your favorite animal?

“I want pig”
{I’ve never known her to like pigs. You learn something new everyday}

What is your favorite thing to eat?

“Ah, Ah, Cheese”

What is your favorite thing to do?

“I Dance”

What is your favorite song?

“Ah…. ABC”

What is your favorite TV show?

“I like Calliou”

What are you really good at?

“I folding blank-let”

What is your favorite movie?

“Punzel”
{Tangled}

What do you like to do with Mom?

“I like cuddle mommy”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I Mommy”

Birthday Interview with Ben Age 3

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Happy Birthday Ben 600x400 Birthday Interview with Ben Age 3

How old are you?

“I Free” (Holding up four fingers)

What’s your favorite color?

“Oange”
{Orange}

What makes you happy?

Ben: “I want you Mommy”
Mom: “I make you happy?”
Ben: “Yeah!”

What is your favorite animal?

“I want Elfants.  I have bird-day at Zoo!”

What is your favorite thing to eat?

“Oange Hips”
{Nacho Cheese Doritos}

What is your favorite thing to do?

“I crack eggs”

What is your favorite TV show?

“I watch Dan-el Higer”
{Daniel Tiger}

What are you really good at?

“I crack eggs”

What is your favorite movie?

“Blue Trains”
{The Little Engine That Could}

What do you like to do with Mom?

“I build blocks”

What do you want to be when you grow up?

“I cook”