Monday, September 29, 2008

Monkey Shine

Responsible parents that we are, we've gated off the family room and made it the baby's play room. For the most part, it's a pretty harm-free room. I mean, we didn't put padding on the corner of the TV shelf, but the bookcase is tethered to the wall and "choke-ables" aren't allowed in. Just couches and baby toys.

And now? I have to remove baby toys!

Apparently, Ava takes after Nana Higby. Legend has it, when Nana was a toddler, she would move the lamp from the end table so she could climb on it! And I guess since Ava's middle name IS Barbara (after Nana), it's only fitting that SHE be the first to give me climbing issues!

See that yellow toy in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture? That's a "table" that the gang likes to sit & stand in. Generally, they're fighting over who's turn it is to be in it. But today, Ava figured out how to push it up to the couch so she can climb on up and explore.

But that wasn't enough for Miss Ava. Noooooooooooooo...she has to bring others in to her life of crime.

As proud as she was for her discovery and subsequent teaching of her brothers, I still had to remove Miss Ava from the couch.

And she was not happy!

Needless to say, the yellow table will be spending a lot of time outside the gated community in the coming days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Lunch Bunch

They really do eat better when they're facing each other.  They have little conversations and everything.  It's too cute!  Today at lunch, Ava didn't want all her Cole finished them.  Eli didn't want all his hot Ava finished it.  Cole didn't want all his Eli finished it!  Waste not, want not!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Celebrating American Girl Doll Style

For Zoe's 6th birthday, she (via my suggestion) decided to forego a traditional birthday party for something a little more quaint: An American Girl Doll Tea.  Along with 2 friends, 2 grandma's and a mom, Zoe headed into NYC yesterday afternoon to pick out her birthday gift (a doll) and have a little tea.

The girls didn't need any convincing to wear cute dresses (the adults didn't either).
The drive into the city was pretty interesting.  Nana and I did our fair share of giggling as we listened to the conversations in the back seat.  Comments about how to be "polite" and "proper", even in the event that you burp.
Once we arrived at the store, Zoe picked out her doll (Karalyn & Maeve brought their's).  Zoe chose a "Just Like Me" doll.  The store clerk immediately picked out a doll...the same one Zoe picked for herself.  Nana and I were a bit thrown off.  The doll was blonde!  I never considered Zoe a blonde.  But obviously, she thinks of herself as one and others see her as one.  Interesting...
Tea was wonderful.  The girls didn't eat much, but they thoroughly enjoyed their Pink Lemonade and Chocolate Mousse.  The napkin rings were hair elastics with pink gerber daisies.  They thought of EVERYTHING!  Even down to booster seats for each of the dolls.
...and did I mention that each of the dolls had their own TEA cup?
After a great "spot of tea", we did a little more browsing in the shop and headed out.  Before headed home, we made a stop at Rockefeller Center.
But one of my favorite memories of the day will definitely be Karalyn & Zoe skipping down the sidewalk, holding hands, and singing at the top of their lungs that "we're best friends forever".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Little Bit Crazy!

Yes, today is Zoe's day!  Six years ago today, Zoe Christine entered our lives.  But that's not today's post.  She's celebrating on the post will come after that.

Today, well, today I want to tell you that "I'm nuts!"  Officially!

Being a Thursday, it was Shane's morning to drive Zoe to school.  I was psyched to have a day in my PJs, to be honest.  But Zoe wanted me to be at school when she handed out her "special snack" (Chipwiches).  So I loaded up the triplets and Ty at 9:45am to make it to school by 10am. 

Park the car.  Pull out the stroller frame.  One seat.  Two seat.  Three seat.  Buckle in Cole.  Buckle in Eli.  Buckle in Ava.  Shut car doors.  Push massive stroller with heavy babies into school while making sure Ty doesn't run around the parking lot.  Sing "Happy Birthday".  Hand out 24 Chipwiches.  Hang around for recess (by "hang around" I mean, I got to hold the jumprope handle and turn.) Back to the car.  Unload Cole and buckle into carseat.  Unload Eli and buckle into carseat.  Unload Ava and buckle into carseat.  Seat 1 out.  Seat 2 out.  Seat 3 out.  Fold and load frame.

Since we were out, I thought I'd brave the growing errand list.  I mean, how hard can it be to get a few errands done?  So...I was off to Babies R Us.

Park the car. Pull out the stroller frame. One seat. Two seat. Three seat. Buckle in Cole. Buckle in Eli. Buckle in Ava. Shut car doors. Push massive stroller with heavy babies into Babies R Us while making sure Ty doesn't run out in front of a car in the parking lot. Search BRU for a variety of sippy cups (another post for another day when I've reach a level of success in switching from bottles to sippies.)  Back to the car. Unload Cole and buckle into carseat. Unload Eli and buckle into carseat. Unload Ava and buckle into carseat. Seat 1 out. Seat 2 out. Seat 3 out. Fold and load frame.

That wasn't too bad!  We didn't draw too much of a crowd.  There was no crying and no requests (from Ty) for a sudden, emergency trip to the bathroom.  Maybe I could brave the grocery store.  Although there are 4 gallons of whole milk in our refrigerator, there is not a drop of 2% which Shane needs for his cereal in the morning, and his cookies at night.

Park the car. Pull out the stroller frame. One seat. Two seat. Three seat. Buckle in Cole. Buckle in Eli. Buckle in Ava. Shut car doors. Push massive stroller with heavy babies into Pathmark while making sure Ty doesn't run out in front of a car in the parking lot. Grab milk and a few things for dinner.  Head to the checkout...

I decided to use the self checkout because I only had about 10 items.  By the time I got all my stuff through the scanner, the manager was bagging my groceries and "oogling" over the babies.  We started chatting and she was asking questions of Ty & I.  Once she finished, and handed me bags, we headed out to the car.  About 2 minutes later, the manager followed me out.  Guess what I'd forgotten to do...


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

I did it!

Saturday was my 10k.  It was the culmination of a summer of training with a women's bible study/running group from a local church.  I started the summer training for a 5k.  After my disappointing Memorial Day run, I wanted to give it another shot.  But the more I ran, the more my friend, Salli, encouraged me to shoot for the 10k.  We both decided we'd train for the 10k, but if life got in the way (sick kids, crazy schedule, etc.) we could always roll-back to the 5k.

Three weeks ago, Salli & I test-ran the 10k course.  My goal was to not die.  I SHOCKED myself.  I finished.  We ran the whole thing: 1 hour 5 minutes.  That was my very first official "runner's high".  I called me day on my way home.  I couldn't believe I'd done it.

The next weekend, I ran it again...alone.  My time was 1:02, but I don't think I timed my run's why:  The course has a big hill at about the 1 1/2 mile - 2 mile mark.  That night, as I reached the climb, I noticed 3 early-teen boys racing their bikes down the hill.  It looked like a blast.  The first boy wizzed by me.  I watched the second boy make his way down.  He had a GAP bag hanging from one handle and was holding a can of coke in the other hand.   I noticed the front wheel start to wobble...wobble...wobble...BAM!  He flew over his handlebars and slid the rest of the way down the hill on his hands and knees.  When he stopped, he was only a few yards ahead of me.  I ran up and made sure he was ok.  His bike took a big hit (His front wheel was at a 90 degree angle and his chain was off.)  So did he.  The boy was covered in road rash.  He seemed to be okay.  His cellphone was working.  He was walking around.  And he had his buddy, who'd just pulled up saying, "whoa...dude...whoa....dude."  He was a big help.  I carried his bike from the road and double checked that he was fine...and then ran on.

Then last weekend, Salli & I got our final "dress rehersal" in.  Again, we ran close to 1:04.  I knew we'd be okay.

So yesterday was the real thing.  The race started at 8am.  It rained all day Friday and Saturday was supposed to be "chance of showers" too.  But when I got up, it was gorgeous out.  Not a cload in the sky and barely 70 degrees.  PERFECT 10k weather.

(Pre-Race: me, Salliann & Juliette - my neighbor)

Sidenote: Like my cool number?  #111 As in, I have 3 one-year olds!?!?!?'s a stretch, but I still thought it was a cool random number that I got!

Salli's husband, Ben, was our official photographer.  He did a great job, didn't he?

(Off we go...determined not to start too fast)
(This is right after the giant hill.  I'm smiling because I'm the "queen of the hill".)

At mile 4, I had a slight "equipment failure". bra strap came off.  There was NO WAY I was stopping.  I was making great time.  I'd come so far.  I didn't care if I had to hold the strap together and run the last 2.2 miles...I was going to keep going!  Thankfully, there was a family handing out water 100 yards down.  I ran right up to the mom and said something like, "I know I don't know you and I know I'm disgustingly sweaty, but can you fix my bra strap?"  She was more than happy to help get me back on the course!

The last mile seemed to go on forever, but I managed to kick it up a notch with about 2/10ths to go.  I was pushing so hard, I didn't even see Shane and the kids at the finish line!

My official time: 1:01:17 - my best time by far (it works out to be a 9.52/m pace)
(Much better than the "After" shot from the Ridgewood Run)
(This is the group of 10k-ers from the running group)
(This is the whole gang that raced...10k & 5k)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Two More Firsts...Poor Ava

It was LONG overdue, but we FINALLY cut Eli's hair.  I know some of you will be disappointed (now that the hair's gone, I'm finding out that some people actually liked it long).  While we were at it, we cut Cole's too.  I fought for a professional cut, but Shane insisted he could do it.  I guess you'll have to decide who was right (not that I'm taking a poll or even keeping score!)



The Challenge
Well, Eli didn't really sit still (not that we expected him to).  He sat on my lap and ate cheerios for a good 20 minutes.  The problem was, there was SO much hair, that the haircut took at least a 1/2 hour.  We played with a few toys as much as possible, but finally just decided it was "good enough".  We stripped him down and bathed him off in our bathroom sink.

Well...there is not official "Before" picture.  Shane got scissor happy while I was giving Eli a quick bath.  So here's a picture of Cole from a day or two before the haircut.


The Challenge
Again, we didn't expect a cooperate client.  Shane sat Cole on his lap, gave him the bowl of cheerios (which was promptly flipped over), and started cutting.  Cole didn't have NEARLY as much hair as Eli, so it went a little faster, but still wasn't all that easy.

Monday, September 8, 2008

To Infinity and Beyond...

Today was the big day!  Today, Ty became an official Preschooler!

He's in the same preschool that Zoe went to: Eastern Christian Preschool and has the same teacher as she did: Mrs. Bushman!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about dropping Ty off at Preschool today.  He's not quite as outgoing as Zoe...he's a bit more shy.  So, I was worried that when he saw all the kids and parents, he'd get a little gun shy and cling to my leg.

Or...that was just wishful thinking.

We dropped Zoe off for her day (which starts at 8:30) and decided to play a little on the Elementary School playground.  Before too long, the Barclay bunch showed up and a joyful reunion ensued.

One of Zoe's best friends is Maeve.  They're both in Mrs. Slootmaker's class, but Maeve missed last week.  She was off vacationing (tough life, Miss Maeve).

Myles and Ty were gitty with excitement.  They held hands and made their way around the playground until it was time to head down to the Preschool.  Once there, they could barely stand still.

When Mrs. Bushman opened the door and invited the kids in, off the boys went!  Ty with his Buzz Lightyear backpack.


Friday, September 5, 2008

The Help

"Can I help?"  It's Zoe's favorite question.  A lot of times her form of "help" generally makes more work for me.  Like, when she helps by getting the milk out of the fridge and flailes it around while walking to the kitchen table...then hits the table and milk flies through the kitchen.

But recently, when it comes to the triplets, she really is trying to help.  She quickly jumps into the baby's toy room when one of them cries.  She plays with them.  She even changes their diapers on occasion.
Now she has a new request:

The thing is, though, she's pretty good at it.  When Zoe is feeding the babies, I'm freed up to do other things like, make dinner for the rest of us!  It's actually a win/win.

(My favorite thing about these pictures is Zoe's mouth.  Is she trying to show them how wide they need to open up?)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

We're officially walking!

In addition to catching up in the teeth department (she now has 4 total with 2 more almost in), Ava has also joined Cole & Eli in the "Walking Club".

Eli started walking about a week ago.  It's hard to really say, since he's a "closet walker".  See, he wouldn't walk if you wanted  him to or if you were watching.  If you stood him up and put your arms out, he'd flash a huge smile, and slowly lower to his knees.  I seriously had to become a stealth undercover agent to witness it.  Anytime I'd turn on the camcorder, he'd hear it, and sit down.  Now that he's much more confident, I've finally caught it on film.

And just so Cole doesn't think he's left out...I should tell you that he's moved AHEAD in the tooth count!   He's up to 5!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Safety First!

Fitting 5 carseats in a minivan caused quite a bit of stress a year ago.  I suppose, in most cases, a family of 5 kids wouldn't have 5 in carseats, but we do.  And it was quite a stretch to get them all to fit just right.

Three infant carriers across the middle row with Zoe and Ty in the back.  Since the carriers come in and out, the seats can still fold forward so Zoe and Ty can get in the back.

But here's the issue now...they're too big for the infant carriers.  How do you get 3 "next stage" carseats and 2 boosters in a minivan and still be able to get INTO the back seat? gather all the carseats you own, take them apart and wash the covers.

Then you shuffle seats in and out of the car in various configurations until you get something that works.

Poor Ava, the only one still facing backward.  She's got another 4 pounds until she gets to see what's coming her way.  Yes, we can fit Zoe and Ty's boosters in the backseat with Eli's carseat, but Zoe has to squat to buckle...then put her seat down...and then  she can sit!
Only two more years to go until Zoe can get rid of her booster...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Grade = ALL DAY

Our house was a lot quieter today.

Zoe started first grade this morning.  That means she's gone all day.  It's a long day for her.  I'll admit, I didn't exactly shed any tears when her line walked from the playground into the school, but it was a little sad.  She looked so grown up with her backpack and lunch box.  She knew where she was longer the new kid on the block.  She was excited to get see her friends.

We all managed to get in the car by 8am...and got to school with plenty of time to spare.  I snagged an idea from a blogger friend (mom of triplets) and it worked like a charm.

Let's hope tomorrow goes just as smoothly.

The bus ride home apparently didn't go 100% "as planned".  Alledgedly, there were some tears when the time came for Zoe to get on the bus and come home. wasn't because she didn't want to leave school!  She didn't recognize anyone on the bus and got a sudden case of nerves.  Mrs. Slootmaker (Zoe's teacher) let Zoe borrow her teddy bear and it did the trick!

The day seemed to fly by.  I didn't get everything done that I had hoped, but maybe that'll come with time and experience.