Friday, January 29, 2010

It's not REALLY Goodbye!

Today's a tough day.  Definitely not a day I've circled on my calendar (there's actually a big sad face on it!)  It's a day I've been ignoring (possibly denying).  It's the day Lindsay moves to South Africa.

She's been with us since the week the triplets were born.  She instantly became a part of our family.

I've said it before...I have no idea how I would have survived that first year without her.  Even now, Lindsay keeps me sane.  She has became more than "just" our nanny...she's my friend!  She's taught me so much: how to enjoy running, how to follow your dreams...even when others think you're nuts, and how to not let the fact that "there are three of them" keep you from taking an adventure.

A few weeks ago, we watched her marry a wonderful guy.  A guy that my kids (and us too) have also grown to love.

So before she heads off on her 18 hour flight to a land I can't even imagine, I want her to know...she's loved.  Incredibly loved.  And she'll be missed...something fierce!

Thank you, Lindsay.  For all you are.  For all you've done.  For all you're GOING to do.  Thank you for being part of our lives and letting us be part of yours.  We'll definitely see you on Skype...

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before how much my kids love music.  Not just the little ones, but the big ones, too (even the 37-year old).  I really wish I could remember that when we're having a very bad whining day.  But somehow, it seems to slip my mind...I'd much rather pull all my hair out cleaning up after the tornado children.

Sorry...I've gotten off point...

I finally captured Cole (and Eli) "enjoying" The Fresh Beat Band.  "Fresh Beat" takes top billing at our house.  Right behind them, following in a very close 2nd is The Imagination Movers.

(This is the first time I've edited a video...very proud of my nerdy self!) video

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Through Other Eyes

Have you ever downloaded pictures from your camera only to discover shots you don't recognize?  Apparently, Ty and Zoe had some fun with my camera the other day...


I don't think I want to know...


CLEARLY a picture of a book is important...


He smiles for anyone!


Cole wanted a close up of his eye, clearly!


I guess he gets his cheesy smile from his Dad!

There was even a video...

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiiiiiiiiiiimber...

If a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Hmmm...

I don't know. 

But I can tell you that if I tree falls in a backyard onto a trampoline, and there are 2 adults and 3 toddlers inside the house (close enough to hear it)...it DOES make a sound.






We didn't know what the sound was at the time.  It sorta sounded like branches brushing up against the roof.  I mean, it was a crazy, windy, rainy day yesterday.  There were a lot of strange noises outside. 

At bedtime, Ty prayed that the trampoline would be fixed by spring so he could "jump when it's warm outside".  I just prayed it wouldn't be too hard for Shane to chop up.  Ironically, he'd just had the tree guy out for an estimate on removing some other trees.  So now, technically, we get 7 trees for the price of 6!  Well...there is the price of fixing the trampoline...

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm Definitely Getting Old

Remember back when Lindsay got married (maybe it only SEEMS like thousands of years ago to me).  Anyway, Shane brought Zoe and Ty tubing while I was at the rehersal with the triplets. We'd talked about bringing them for awhile, so I was pretty excited to hear all about it.  I made sure to give Shane the camera before he left along with explicit instructions on documenting all the fun!  Here's what I got (don't blink):


Did I mention it was 18 degrees?






This is the line.  Apparently, only one tow-rope was working (hence the vouchers for a free tubing session.)


I'm guessing this is post-tubing...hot chocolate, maybe?

Apparently, the cold weather made it tough to take the camera out of a jacket pocket and even more difficult to push the shutter button.

As you can see from those pictures, I COMPLETELY knew what to expect when I took Zoe and Ty to use the vouchers on Friday.  They had the day off school because it was the end of the quarter, and the school gives the teachers the day to work on report cards.  It wasn't too crowded (since most normal schools were in session).  It wasn't too cold.  I had NO idea what I was getting into!


Myles with his mom, Tracy Catherine!

Thankfully, we ran into 2 really good friends of the kids: Maeve and Myles.  We grabbed our tubes and headed for the "tow rope".  What exactly is a tow rope?  No idea.  I'd only been in a ski lift...when I was SKIING!  I didn't know the whole tubing process...


For those of you curious: it's a rope that the tube hooks on to and pulls you up the hill...

It was actually quite relaxing.  I think they could get a lot more Moms and Dads to participate if they served hot drinks on the ride up the hill!

When I got to the top, I asked for the slow lane...the guy giggled!  Apparently, there was no "slow lane".  That's when I noticed that there were rubber mats down at the bottom of the hill to slow the tubes down and help them stop.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  I suddenly had no desire to lay down on this inflated tube and hurl my ___lb. body at uncontrollable speeds down a hill and HOPE those (multiple) rubber mats would stop me before I ran into the orange construction fence.  I'm waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too old for this.  But one look to my left reminded me that my 5 year old was staring...waiting for me to go.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

I screamed and (nervously) laughed the entire way down.  I also dragged the tip of my boots to slow me down.  Yes, I'm a scaredy cat!  Still...I was flying!  I never was a fan of physics: the bigger you are...the faster you go.  Why didn't I start my diet earlier?  Let's just say there are NO pictures of me on a tube.  Despite the fact that I was forced to go excitedly went down multiple times!

Here's some video of Ty and Zoe...

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Unfortunately, about half way through the session, I could tell Ty didn't feel well.  He just didn't look right.  We went inside by the fire and played some games on my phone.



It didn't work.  He was sad.  There were tears.  He wanted to go home.  Thankfully, Tracy offered to keep Zoe with her and drop her off after the session ended.  Ty's day, however, ended cozy in my bed...


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Crazy House

I am no longer in denial:
THIS IS A CRAZY HOUSE!

I mean, sure, there was Wednesday night when I went upstairs to get 3 pairs of PJs and came downstairs to find sugar all over the kitchen and mudroom.  From what I could piece together (didn't know I was a CSI, did you!?!?), during the 5 minutes I was gone, Cole had pushed a toy up to the counter, climbed up and taken the sugar bowl down from the cabinet and handed it to Eli and Ava.  They proceeded to feed each other and "sand paint" on the floor...over and over and over.  But that's "normal"...right?

Is it normal for a 2 year old to bundle up inside?



There is also Ty's insistance that he needed to "splunge" the toilet this afternoon.  "Splunge?", I asked.  "Splunge...it won't flush..."  "Don't do ANYTHING to the toilet...the handle's broken...don't do ANYTHING!"

I'm thinking Zoe's homework pencil choice wasn't normal either...



And the triplet's silence during homework time was definitely NOT normal, today.  Apparently, they didn't want to play in the Family Room anymore.  They thought the Mudroom would be a better place to hang out.





(I took a video...but can't figure out why it won't post...hmmm...so I'm not a techie...shoot me!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Do You Have a Favorite?

I get asked that a lot.  I'm not sure why.  Is it because I have 5 kids?  Like mothers with only 3 kids can spread their love evenly, but since I have five...that's impossible?

Usually I answer, "Sure...and everyday it changes!"

Yes kids, 10 years from now when you're reading this...I do have a favorite!  And somedays...it's you!

Let's take today, for example...it was an EASY CHOICE!  Today's winner: Eli.  And not just because he was pathetic last night and cuddled with me while we watched the end of the Cardinals/Packers game (which was a great game, by the way.)



It's really just a process of elimination:
  • Ava...had me up 5 times last night between 1-2:30am and even ended up sleeping on my chest by 4am.
  • Cole...even though he gave me a run for my money at bedtime last night, he was still eligible for favorship until he started growling at 5a this morning.
  • Zoe...she lost eligibility when she climbed in my bed last night around 1:30 and forced Shane to take over 50% of my sleeping space.  Even when I put her in the sleeping bag on the floor at 2:30, she still managed to somehow return to my bed by 4a.  So this morning, when she woke up with a scowl on her face bossing everyone around and griping about everything, those didn't count against her, since, she really didn't stand a chance today anyway.
  • Then there's Ty...he was co-favorite with Eli until about 7:30a this morning when he stopped listening and started moving in reverse.  It was probably the fact that he let Cole dump out his tylenol cold all over the table and chairs 10 minutes after I'd handed the medicine to Ty and said "take this now so the babies don't reach it".  (You should know...the triplets LOVE medicine.  If I give tylenol to one, I have to have "fake" medicine to give the other two or there are MAJOR meltdowns.)

So Eli wins!  He slept through the night.  Woke up with a smile on his face.  Didn't pitch a fit that he didn't want all of his breakfast.  Didn't throw any breakfast on the floor.  Let me change his diaper the first time I asked.  Gave me hugs.  So...as of 9a this morning, Eli's my favorite!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Going to the Chapel...


Congratulations, Lindsay and Ferdi!

On one hand, we were so happy.
On the other, we were so sad.
Sunday (1/3/10), our nanny, became Mrs. Ferdinand Groenewald.

She looked absolutely beautiful.  The church was gorgeous.  The bride and groom were happy.  The wedding was meaningful. The reception was...well...filling!

All five kids were involved in the day.  (Wait, doesn't that mean all 7 of us were?)  What a day!  The rehersal on Saturday didn't go so well.  The babies did a great job sitting through the first half of the morning waiting for their turn to walk down the aisle.  But by the time the processional practice started, all the shy-ness was LONG gone and I was chasing 3 crazy 2-year olds around the back of the church trying to get them to line up.  Maybe I should have worn workout clothes cuz I was sweating like I was running a 10k.  (Ironic side note: Shane was freezing with the big kids up at Campgaw...tubing!)  Then, disaster struck.  Cole shut Eli's finger in a door and it was all downhill from there.  I put him down next to Ava and Cole and gave them all a slight shove forward.  A little harder.  Okay, now I was pushing.  And they were digging in their heals.  Ava clung to my leg.  Cole flopped on the floor.  Eli giggled and did the same!  Ugh!  The slight sweating was now a full on shower!  I scooped up all three into a modified football hold and wisked them into the Bride's Room.  By now the stubborn children had turned into screaming children and I was blocking the door trying to keep them from disrupting the rest of the practice.  "MY DEE DEE!  MY DEE DEE!", was all I could decifer from Ava.  Apparently, she wasn't sure she wanted Lindsay (Dee Dee) to get married...and she was sure she didn't want her getting married WITHOUT her.  The more I reflect on the debacle at the end of the aisle, the more I realize Ava started crying because the boys wouldn't walk with her! I called my mom on the way home and encouraged her and Dad to start praying...and fasting...and maybe even getting the prayer chain involved because we needed a miracle if any of these kids were going to perform on Sunday!

Thankfully, Sunday went better...slightly.

Ava and I headed to the Bride's house to get dressed and have pictures taken.




Shane and our second sitter, Becca (who only comes occasionally now that she has a stinkin' "real" job) got the other four kids ready and to the church.





Go time!



Only 2/3 made it down.  Cole panicked about 1/4 of the way down the aisle when he saw all the people.  He couldn't care less that Nana was only a few more feet in front of him sitting in an aisle seat (that's where Ava's first stop was after dumping the entire basket of rose pedals at the beginning of the walk).  And Cole definitely didn't think the walk all the way down to Dad was worth the measly fruit snacks we attempted to bribe him with!  He ran back to my legs and was done.  Eli walked down slowly...until he spotted Daddy...then he ran!  Ava moved on from Nana and started hopping behind Eli.  Then she tripped...and decided it was easier to crawl.

I was amazed at how still Zoe and Ty sat during the ceremony.  Zoe especially.  Both followed along in the program, but they differed in they're "favorite parts": Zoe, of course, loved the kiss.  Ty said it was, "yuck and gross and I didn't even look!"  At one point, Shane leaned over to Ty and said, "Doesn't Lindsay look pretty?" and Ty quickly responded, "...and Ferdi looks good too!"

After Linds and Ferdi were pronounced Husband and Wife, Zoe and Ty did great handing out the bubbles.  They took their job very seriously.  I loved that Ty intentionally made eye contact with each person he handed the bubbles to.  I was very proud of both of them.




Pictures went well.  We even attempted a family shot.  The big group shot required a few more Fruit Snack bribes, but seemed to work well.  I had to keep some of the groomsmen from stealing the kids' snacks.





(yes, I'm bribing with snacks)





Then it was off to the reception.  Yes, we took the whole gang to the "party".  Eli discovered a love of soda.  And Ava discovered her skirt moved when she wiggled her hips.  Since it was a school night (the first in almost 2 weeks), Becca took "the gang" home after the bridal party was introduced (the triplets were labeled, "the tallest ones in the party").  Everyone was sad to see them go...and the gang was sad they couldn't stay.  But they fell asleep the minute their heads hit their pillows and slept...and slept...and slept.  So did Mommy!