December 19, 2007

Tis the Season.....

to run, run, run!!!

This past weekend was so full of Holiday happenings it was amazing. Friday we had a cookie bake at our house. During the day Helena had 2 friends from school over to bake cookies - Clara and Reed. The girls did such a good job making some yummy cookies.

Friday night I had some of my friends over for a cookie bake with their kids:
Me - Helena (4), Parker, Preston and Peyton (18 mo)
Molly - Paige and Reilly (3)
Noelle - Connor and Bella (3)
Robin - Nathan (10), Danny, Colin, Kaylin (9) and Clare (5)
Casey - Colin (16 mo)

We had a blast and the kids had a great time as well. Robin and Casey are new neighbors so it was really nice to get to spend some time with them. The big kids had fun with the little ones and vice versa. Not to mention, the Mommy's made some really good peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar and chocolate chip cookies....mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

The funniest part of the night was when Jason walked in from work and there were 15 pairs of shoes by the door along with a pile of coats as tall as Helena!! He just laughed, enjoyed some pizza and cookies. He was a good sport about it all.

Saturday night we had Jason's company party. My Mom and Dad came by in the early afternoon to watch the kids while we went to the party. Jason and I actually had a date night!! The party was fun and it is always nice to see my old friends from Denison. Jason's department won Department of the Year, so that was a nice surprise to all. For those of you who don't know, he is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Denison Landscaping. They have worked really hard this year to exceed their sales goal, so the recognition (and monetary reward) was a great reward.

Sunday afternoon Aunt Molly and Uncle Brian headed over to watch the "crumb crunchers" as they like to call them, while Jason and I went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with Meredith and Chris. Meredith has never seen them before and she had a great time. It is like going to a Bon Jovi Concert (think 80's hair) with a laser light show, but they are singing Christmas Music. It is truly amazing, loud but amazing to see and hear. This was our second time seeing them and it was better than the first.

Aunt Molly and Uncle Brian did very well, they said they had a great time. Helena even had Uncle Brian in the Moon Bounce for a while.

Monday night was my MOMs party at Jen's house. This is always fun, it is potluck, we play the "gift game" and I got a special present from Meredith - a new John Deere hat - pink! I did not know they came in pink - I wonder if I could get a matching tractor???

So Busy, Busy, Busy is our day, but never tooo busy for family and friends. We are on the countdown to Santa. If I heard his message clearly, he was able to find that purple bike Helena keeps asking for and when Daddy get his gift, he will be so surprised he just might love Mommy for a long, long time.......I will keep you posted......

December 11, 2007

Mouse Ears and Pixie Dust - The Pictures

Main Street, USA decorated for Christmas. At night the lights on the Castle look like icicles!

The Luggage - all but 4 bags were ours!

One of the first Characters we saw was Daisy Duck!
Peyton, as usual was asleep, hence the new nick-name Melman (the narcoleptic giraffe from Madagascar!)

Helena and Sleeping Beauty at Aurora's Tea Party

Me, Helena, Aunt Melissa and Victoria at the Tea Party.

In front of the Tree at the Wilderness Lodge! The tree was 4 stories high.

Me with the triplets on our first camping trip, Oh wait, that is Daisy with Houie, Douie and Louie.

Here are a few of my favorites, we have over 400 pictures total! I am going to do an online photo album from Disney Photo Pass that you can see after the first of the year!

December 10, 2007

Mouse Ears and Pixie Dust - Part 2

OK, so yesterday I got hit with the "bug" that my kids have had all week, not good when Mommy is down for the day....luckily it was Sunday and Jason was home to rally the troops. Not to mention deliver the goods for the MOMS holiday party that I coordinated, yet missed! Meredith and the girls did a great job and from what I hear the party was a success - you go girls!!!

Now to finish our trip to Disney!!

Thursday - Jason's brother and girlfriend Carla drove up to meet us for the day at MGM. All was going well until Peyton got sick during the Bear in the Big Blue House Show. Then our day went on a roller coaster. After that he seemed to feel better, so we headed to lunch at Play and Dine at Hollywood and Vine. Here we had lunch with Jo Jo, Goliath from Jo Jo's Circus and Leo and June from Little Einsteins. Everyone had a great time dancing and singing with the characters. Even the trips were getting into it. After lunch, Peyton got sick again so Jason and I headed back to the resort with the troops for a cool down and nap. Later that night he, Preston and Helena met back up with the rest of the group at MGM.

The Peyton, Parker and I hung around the resort and when they got back I did some laundry. Now I know what you are thinking - laundry on vacation? But trust me, if I would have not done those 5 loads we would have been sunk when we got home. Not to mention, I got to hang out at the pool and read a magazine (all by myself) while the wash was going.....nice!

Friday - This was a big day for Helena, we were having breakfast with Mulan - her absolute favorite princess. I have to say I like her to - she is spunky, does not play by the rules and saves China in the process!! Jason and I split up again this morning. I took Parker with me and he stayed back with Peyton and Preston.

When we walked up to the resturant there she was standing all by herself, no other little girls were around and Helena was speechless. Helena was dressed in her Mulan costume and they looked like twins!! Mulan was so sweet and Helena looked like she just met her idol! Before we left, Mulan gave Helena a kiss on the cheek (she wore bright red lipstick!).

After breakfast we hooked up with Jason. Epcot does a great thing for the kids. They get a mask and at each of the countries they get a stamp of that country and an attachment to represent that country. It was a fun game until the rain came and we headed back for the day. At several of the countries the representatives wrote the kids name in their native language and the Chinese representative called Helena - Fa Mulan and she just grinned from ear to ear!

Later that night Helena and I went to Downtown Disney to pick up our sketched from The Art of Disney. The sketch artist did 3 different Sorcerer Mickey's for the boys, Helena got Cinderella dancing with Prince Charming and Jason got Mickey at Luke Skywalker (his birthday present).

When everyone was asleep, Jason and I packed up all of our things to head home the next day, our week in Disney was coming to an end.

Saturday - We had until 2:00 pm to visit one more time, so we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We forgot that this was the day they were filming the Christmas Parade. Yes, for those of you who do not know, the Disney parade we see on Christmas morning is not live. We got to see Regis and Kelly (from afar), the Jonas Brothers and the new Menudo (yes, there is a new Menudo)...

After a few rides, we headed back to the Wilderness Lodge to catch the Magic Express to the airport. The plane ride home was uneventful until Parker got tanked up the last 20 minutes and just cried and cried....

We had a great time, was it perfect - that would determine what your definition of perfect is - but to me it is one vacaction I will always remember as one of the best. You only get to see Disney througth the eyes of you children for such a little while - I will never forget it!

December 5, 2007

Mouse Ears and Pixie Dust

As I am writing this I am looking out my window at the snow falling on the grass trying to remember what the 80* days felt like last week! Although this is my favorite time of year, last week was a treat of beautiful weather. So here we go....

Saturday - the plane flight went well - I give it a 9 overall. Peyton fell asleep on takeoff, Parker and Preston were very entertaining until the last 20 minutes when Preston got cranked up and Helena watched Mulan on DVD.

When we got the the resort around 3:00 my parents were waiting for us so they could watch the look on every ones face as we walked in the lobby area....That evening we just grabbed a bite to eat and headed to the pool. The kids love the water and it was a nice, refreshing time after the flight.

***The best part, from our room, you could see Cinderella's Castle and the fireworks every night - Pretty cool!!

Sunday - This was Jason's Dad's 60th birthday. We got up and went to the Magic Kingdom and the look on Helena's face when we went in was priceless - I couldn't stop smiling. We got a few autographs and headed to my favorite rides - Peter Pan's Flight and Snow Whites Adventure! The boys were able to get on almost all of the rides with us which was great! After more rides and lunch we headed back for a nap to prepare for the evening's festivities.

To celebrate we took the Peter Pan Firework Cruise. After a reception with Capt. Hook and Mr. Smee we headed out for a boat ride on the Lagoon to see the fireworks. It was so nice, when we returned to shore Peter Pan was waiting for us. The kids loved every minute of it and then we had dinner at Chef Mickey where the entire restaurant sang Happy Birthday to my father in law!

Monday - In the morning Helena and I met Melissa and Victoria for a Tea Party with Princess Aurora, Sleeping Beauty. We had a lot of fun and the girls each received an American Girl Doll dressed like Aurora and a friendship bracelet as well. After, we headed to the Magic Kingdom to meet up with the rest of the group. We headed back to the room for naps and pool time so we could return to the park for Magic Hours (7-12 pm). That was a lot of fun and after the fireworks the boys fell asleep for the rest of the night. Helena has decided that the Haunted Mansion is one of her favorite rides because it is "just pretend"! We returned to the room about 10:00 pm and Parker decided it was time to party. Fortunately he was staying in my mothers room and she put the kibosh on that pretty quickly - ha ha!

Tuesday - This was our day at Animal Kingdom. It was very humid this day, but we got to see all of the fun things at the park regardless. First we went to the Safari and saw more animals than I have on my last 2 trips here. Helena loved the Pocahontas show and the Lion King Show as well. Lunch was at an African inspired buffet where they had a group of drummers for entertainment. Helena joined right in when the woman called for dancers. She was shaking her booty to the beat!!! After lunch we saw the Jingle Jungle Parade and headed back for naps.

Later that evening we had tickets for the Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom. When we arrived at the park, it began to drizzle and within the next hour it poured down. Needless to say our evening was cut short. Helena, Jason and Big Jim (Jason's dad) stayed to ride a few more rides and grab a snack. After the boys got to sleep, I went to do some laundry and grab a snack myself!

Wednesday - My parents headed home this morning, so we saw them in the morning before heading to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for Helena's princess makeover! Jason and I decided to divide and conquer, so I took Peyton with us and he kept Parker and Preston to get in some pool/beach time at the resort before meeting us after lunch. Jason had them in the pool, at the beach, on the playground and walked the trail for them to fall asleep in the stroller. It was nice to get in some Mommy/Daddy time.

Needless to say - Helena looked so pretty when she was finished - and she knew it. Everyone called her "Princess" for the rest of the day. After lunch with Cinderella - Peyton loved looking at the princesses - and some pictures with Belle, Jasmine and Aurora, we saw Lady Trumane and the wicked step-sisters. While getting pictures with them, Helena informed Drizella that she was rude!! That's my girl....

Before bed Helena told me that she wanted to sleep with her hair in and her crown on because "everyone tells me it looks good Mommy!"....well what do you expect she is a princess right???

More to come later, with pictures - today is Jason's 35th Birthday and I need to get the cake in the oven so Helena can decorate it when she gets home from school!

December 3, 2007


Could someone, anyone tell me WHY all 4 of my children are taking turns vomiting for the last 2 days??? Not sure what I did in my past life to be so deserving of this frenzy of fun!!!

On the brighter side of things - If all goes well between now and bedtime, I will be posting the story of our trip to Disney this evening! It was eventful and a lot of fun, we took tons of pictures and for anyone who know my daughter, I actually saw her speechless on this trip (hard to believe I know!!).....

November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

Today is a day I like to sit and refelct on the past year - good, bad and crazy - to remind myself how lucky I really am! This time last year I had 3 little monkeys who sat at the table with us for the first time, a real milestone for them. They had mushed turkey and sweet potato puree - yummy. This year they went all out, eating everything in site. Parker even tried to use a spoon on his potatoes - it was quite funny!

Helena amazes me more and more every day, she is so smart and does not miss a trick. She helped get the brothers set up before sitting down to her seat and she ate everything on her plate. She is getting to be such a big girl, it sometimes scares me how fast she is growing up. Yesterday she told her bf Natalie that she would not be in school next week because she was going to live at a hotel in Disney! She hoped she would see her on the bus when she got back - ha ha!!

This year my brother and his family were not at dinner - those lucky dogs are already in Disney. But it made me think of the last time he missed Thanksgiving with the family - he was in Marine boot camp on Paris Island. If anyone has ever been there, not the most homey place you can be, but none the less he survived and is a better man because of it! I did miss them though. (That Brotherly Love thing keeps creeping in!)

We have been fortunate this year - we have 4 healthy kids, a beautiful new house, a family who loves us, we have celebrated weddings and engagements, made new friends, several family parties that were a blast and we are going to Disney World on Saturday. As I have said before, we are not the Brady Bunch by far, but we always come out ahead at the end of the year. We have had our share of nebulizer vigils - all kids included on this one, a double hospital stay, we have lost family members and friends. In the end these things make you remember what is really important in life and that you cannot SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF!

As I write this my husband is downstairs mad at me because I forgot to bring home some gravy for his snack of leftover turkey, dressing and sweet potato fluff! He said he cannot have the snack now because it is just not the same!

November 21, 2007

My Fantastic Four

The Fantastic Four - that is what J.'s office calls my kids and I have to admit, I like it! You see after some of the antics of the past few days, I am beginning to believe they are taking on some of their namesake traits.

My Comic features:

Helena as Sue Storm - The Invisible Woman
Most recent trick was last night when she snuck down the steps with her sleeping bag and pillow to set up camp in my bedroom. Either Jason and I were so into The Unit that we did not see her or she used her super human power to become invisible! Several weeks ago she crept down the steps, through the dining room and into the kitchen where she grabbed a cookie (crumb evidence was left behind) and fell asleep in my bed. Again, either we are too exhausted to see and/or hear this or she is just that good!

Peyton as Reed Richards - Mr. Fantastic
Most recent trick as the man who can stretch super human lengths is when he stood on the arm of the sofa to turn on the light switch. He is also the tallest of the three and can most easily open all of the doors in my house (we have tons of baby locks everywhere) as well as reach a banana no matter where it is. Today he got one from the fruit basket on the kitchen table all by himself.
And if there is something to tinker with, my little scientist is on it! If it has buttons and makes noise there is no hope!

Preston as Johnny Storm -the Human Torch
Most recent trick as the "flying flame thrower" was to take a running leap from the landing on the steps into my arms to carry him down the steps. He is the only one of the three that has not figured out how to get down and if I am not there to take him - trust me he gets "fired up" when he is left behind. His little cheeks look like apples he gets so mad! Don't get me wrong, I think Preston is the sweetheart with a temper!

Parker as Ben Grimm - Thing
Most recent trick as the man with super human strength was when he carried Helena's vanity stool over his head into the hall. He also likes to try and push H.'s 4-wheeler around the yard because, after all, he is 18 mo old! He thinks he is invincible and sometimes has the grumpy attitude of the original Ben Grimm. And not many people know how stealthy he really is, that is why I think he, unlike the original, is the leader of this crew.

I hope you enjoyed my version of The Fantastic Four.

November 20, 2007

Countdown to Mickey!

There is offically 4 days left to my long awaited vacation! After all of the preparation and excitement, we are only 4 days away. I am so excited I can barely stand it. I still have a few bags to pack (I have already packed 7 suitcases and I am waiting on 3 more from Mom and Dad!), but other than that we are good to go. Everything had been confirmed - plane, restort and transportation.....I wonder if Mickey Mouse knows that the Eltringham-Smith Tornado is about to land!

Right now the Trips are supposed to be napping, however they are in there babbling away - most likely planning their next attack! Preston really babbles alot these days, Parker and Peyton are not that far behind, they seem to "respond" to the babble??? Curious I know!!

If only I had a decoder ring to tell me what they are saying - Ha Ha Ha - I might have figured out what this maneuver was going to lead to before I put the kibosh on it the other day!! Notice the wipes box was used as a step stool to get onto the sofa more easily - pretty "macgyver" like wouldn't you say!

November 19, 2007

Let The Fun Continue!

So my last post ended with the fun we were having last week and let me tell you it rolled over to the weekend!

Thursday was pretty quite, nothing too exciting, which is good because we had haircuts on Friday. This time we went to see Ms. Becky and Ms. Tara at Cottage Cuts in town. I was amazed at how well the trips did for Tara. Each one just sat in the chair like a little man and let me tell you - handsome does not do them justice! They all look so adorable I could just pinch their cheeks all day long. Now Ms. Helena - she loves to go to the salon. She requested that she get her hair shampooed like the big girls, so off she went! When she came out with that huge towel on her head I had to hold back the laugh as not to upset the little princess. As usual she talked the entire time she was getting her hair cut and styled, of course! She was a little upset that the lady who does the manicures was not there because she apparently wanted her nails painted. I had to convince her that would be another day....

Saturday was a big day, we had an appointment to get our pictures taken at the JCPenny in Columbia by a wonderful photographer named Vicki. She had done several of our photos in the past and all we wanted done was a family photo for Christmas cards. At 9:30 am we left for our appt. with plenty of time to get there - however - we missed the memo from the overpaid government employee who decided to - CLOSE THE WEST BOUND SPAN OF THE BAY BRIDGE ON THE BUSIEST TRAVELED WEEKEND OF THE YEAR!!!! What Yo-yo decides something like this - the radio said it was a 2 hr backup to get west and 1.5 hours to get east! Needless to say we missed our appt.

Now what? I got a van full of people dressed in their Sunday Best with nowhere to go! So Jason and I decide to go to Dover mall and get a family picture taken with Santa. At this point we have traveled from home to the Bay Bridge, past home and on our way to Dover. I called the JCP and Sears at Dover mall to see if they had any available appts. Someone please help me was all I could think!! No luck, but we ventured to see the Man in Red!

The pictures with Santa went well, Peyton was not quite sure what to make of the bearded man and for the first time all day Helena was speechless (imagine that!). I will scan in a photo tomorrow because they really look good. After that painless experience we went to the food court for lunch and what do we see The Picture People. So I parked Jason with the triple stroller outside of the store and Helena and I went in to plead our case - again COULD SOMEONE PLEASE HELP US! With a little blessing, they took us right back - I couldn't believe it - we went right in! The photographer was great and we got our Christmas cards within the hour. No previews of this picture, you will have to wait to see them.

After we made it home Uncle Jeremy came for a visit! He and Karla flew in from Fl. on Friday for a weekend trip. Unfortunately he came with a cold so me and the trips did not venture to see the Christmas lights with him, but Helena had a great time! She got to see the lights down OC and have some fun.

Now we are on the countdown to see THE MOUSE! I cannot wait - I am ready to go!!! Not to mention one of my favorite holidays is this week - Thanksgiving. I mean really who does not love a holiday that is centered around food and family, did I mention the food?

November 15, 2007

Fun and Laughter All Day Long!

We have had a busy few days! Monday was PTA, Tuesday was errand running, plus I made an awesome pot of spaghetti sauce and Wednesday was Build a Book Night at School. In between all of the activities, and trying to pack for Disney, we had lots of fun...
Helena did a great job making breakfast for everyone to enjoy! Toaster waffles are one of her faves...

Here is a picture of Helena's
masterpiece she made with Daddy at Build a Book Night. She had a lot of fun and is very proud of her work...Daddy did a good job writing a story about fall fun (they lost an eye on the way home!)...

Preston was having fun making a mess of Brittany's food while Peyton was busy sweeping up the kibble. Parker was actually nowhere to be found at the time, which is a good and bad thing!

Before nap we had a moment, that if caught on tape, would have won me the $10,000.00 prize!Preston climbed up onto the bench to get a piece of leftover waffle. I grabbed him before he fell, as I did I knocked over the plate with the waffles on it and Parker "dove" under the table to retreive them before Brittany! Peyton was collecting everyons milk cups as this was going on and helping himself to each one! Helena and I just kept laughing....
Hopefully, we will have just as much fun the rest of the week!

November 13, 2007

Things That Make You Think

While driving home from Target today I heard one of my favorite songs Seasons of Love. It really makes you think about things in life....

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the Life?

How do I measure a year in my life? By birthdays, by holidays, by grocery shopping trips (over 100), by arguments, by seasons? This answer did not take a long time to come to me - I measure my year from January to December and count the milestones (good and bad) knowing that the good always win!

Total strangers often ask me (when I am out with the kids by myself) - "Do you ever have a good day?" and my reply is "Yes, It just depends on what your definition of a good day is!"

Everyday after breakfast there is fussing among the troops, Helena is disgruntled when I brush her hair before leaving for school, the boys get into mischeif - usually with Preston at the helm, Helena debates with me over the why of everything , Jason usually calls with a list of things he needs done and to tell me he is working late and there is usually smushed green bean or banana on the floor after every meal - thanks to Parker! Brittany wants to play, but not with Peyton because he likes to give her a dental check - everyday; the laundry is never caught up; juice cups always need to be washed; lunch and dinner need to be made; and did I mention diapers? Helena has homework and then there is bath time, story time and catching her turning on her light to "read" just one more book!


November 8, 2007

You Know Something is Not Right When .....

Your Trips go from this:

To this in less than 48 hrs:

It started on Monday with me and has officially began its journey to the rest of my family. I must say Helena made a very good nurse to Mommy! When she asked me if I wanted her to "rub my back" to make me feel better - I almost cried!!

The last time I saw Preston look this sad was when he was in the hospital this past July. The guys are on the upside of things as of tonight - so that is a good sign. The bad news is anything that was planned for this weekend is basically a wash. We don't want to get anyone sick before our big trip to see The Mouse!

Now back to the first 2 photos. Apparently we left Helena's pumpkin full of candy on the knee wall and of course my little macgyvers planned their attack. However, the situation went awry when someone knocked over the lamp with the pumpkin. No need to worry, they still got their loot! Peyton even shared a bite with Parker, but I was not quick enough to get a picture of it.

Now don't worry everyone! Their big sister has not lost her touch with the "macgyver" antics! I obviously did not get to the kitchen quick enough when she requested Cheerios for breakfast. (We keep the cereal on the top shelf!)
Please keep in mind the title of this adventure I write about - I think My 3 Ring Circus will keep us in business for many years to come! This is my life and I would not change it for the world. It is crazy, it is stressful and at the end of the day when you tuck 4 little "angles" into bed and get 4 hugs and kisses in return - it makes the rest disappear! Is everyday this eventful - heavens no! But on the days it is - I like to think of it as part of the fun of having 4 kids under 4!
And if anyone ever gives my kids some dental floss, Q-Tips and bubble gum, they are in trouble. I am sure these 4 will figure out a way to use it to repel from the second floor overlook to the family room!

November 7, 2007

9 Years Of Happiness....

Little did he know that September day in 1992, when he sat next to me in the lecture hall, in my very first class, on my very first day of college that 15 years later he would be:

1.) Celebrating his 9 year wedding Anniversary with me.

2.) Have 4 children (under the age of 4)

3.) Have 1 dog

4.) Live in the middle of a corn field and own a John Deere.

WOW - who could have predicted this one!!!

But none the less, we have had 9 years of Crazy (to put it mildly) Happiness! Has it always been easy - NO! Has it always been fun - NO! But at the end of the day we have a wonderful family of 6, 7 counting the dog, that we love! That is what keeps us Happy and matters the most of all! Today I woke up to a nice surprise, some flowers and a very sweet card with a nice message inside were waiting for me on the counter! Nice Job, you made me cry!!

Now on our Anniversary we have another reason to celebrate - our niece and God-daughter Emily is turning 1. She is the sweetest little thing and growing so fast! I remember going to visit her last year in the hospital. Daniel looked so excited, yet scared - he reminded me of Jason when Helena was born. Melissa, bless her heart, was still worn out from delivery, yet was doing great! Big sister Victoria was loving on Emily, but still trying to grasp this new job she had - being a Big Sister! Now 1 year later --- Happy Birthday Emily!!! (Her parents and big sister were Pirates for Halloween and she was the buried treasure!)

November 4, 2007

Halloween Fun - All Week Long!

This year we made Halloween a week long celebration - actually even longer than a week! We had the Mothers of Multiples Party, Boo at the Zoo, School Fun, Pumpkin Carving with Dad, Trick-or-Treating Halloween night and a family party this Saturday. Boy did I get my money's worth out of these costumes!!

Halloween Night was a lot of fun - we drove into Church Hill and trick-or-treated along Main Street, up to the fire house and back. Helena had a pumpkin full of loot and was ready to chomp at every house we came to! The Trips rode in the wagon and made their way to several porches to practice for next year. I have to say everyone was so well behaved it was almost "scary"!!
Saturday night my mom's cousins Donna (not pictured but she was Julie the Cruise Director) and Chris (pictured above as Captain Stubing from the Love Boat) hosted their yearly Halloween Party. As always we had fun seeing all of the family dressed to impress for the holiday. Above is Uncle Chris (Captain Stubing), my brother Daniel, cousin Joe and his girlfriend Brittany and his sister Kristin (Beauty from Beauty and the Geek, I wish I had a picture of her husband Joe - he was a priceless Geek!!) In front is Joe and Kristin's brother Chris as the really pretty, cross dressing, Japanese Man!

They turned their basement into a Haunted House and scared the Poo! out of me when Joe jumped from the closet and Chris grabbed my leg! They did an excellent job - once again, Thanks for the Fun!!

October 30, 2007

Brotherly Love

Brotherly Love.....what can I say - I love mine to death!!! He is the one who used to steal my things, break into my room, borrow money (I use the term borrow loosely!) and cause havoc...although he was usually the youngest of the group wherever we were he was always the toughest and would take on anyone who crossed him (or me!)

Then one day we grew up - I went to college, got married and started to have kids. He joined the Marine Corps., the police force and became a Dad! All the while Mom would ask us about the others business because she couldn't get a straight answer from the other one - until this day she still does it! Now we are not just brother and sister, we are friends who share stories about our kids, poopy diapers and the best way to be a good parent. We have come a long way in 28 ish years (he is 6 years younger than me).

Now brother love in our house is just beginning. Every morning when the Trips get up they march into Helena's room to wake her up! They climb into her bed and run all around. Some days she gets fussy about it, but I know deep down she loves every minute of it! Preston will holler "Leen" when he wants her attention- it is pretty funny. She will play with them, dress them up, build them a tent to play in and "narc" them out in a heartbeat! She will share a snack and they are beginning to do the same with her, only theirs is usually chewed on first! They take things from her and she gets mad only to take it back and then all 4 usually have a meltdown. The other 2 are just crying for sympathy....

Now the Trips among themselves have really taken on roles lately. Parker is the sweet faced bully who is "stealthy". He loves his trucks and the swiffer (help us all!). Preston is the ladies man, resident clown and my little love bug. He will give you a hug just to pass them out, no asking required. Peyton is the mechanic of the group who loves to press buttons. Any buttons will work and if they light up or make noise the better. He also forgets every once in a while that "they cut the cord" about 17 months ago, but he will use his "woobie" to snuggle with when I am not around!

They fight with each other all of the time, they will throw a ball at another, pull hair, pull on clothes to move another out of the way, dump water on anothers head in the tub, take a toy and steal a juice cup when theirs is out in a heartbeat!

But the other night I witnessed the inspiration for this post. It was after bath and Peyton was in his crib having a meltdown while I was putting Parker in his pj's. When Parker was finished he ran into the closet and brought Peyton another blanket, when he kept crying, Parker brought him a toy, when he kept crying, Parker brought him some shirts and pants from the laundry basket until he stopped. Parker never cried or looked at me while doing this, he just stayed on the task at hand and made Peyton feel better!

Don't get me wrong, we are not the Brady Bunch by far, we have our good days, bad days and great days - but in the end I know that Brotherly Love will prevail and in time they will be the best of friends!

October 28, 2007

Weekend FUN

This weekend proved to be a really nice one in the end!

Saturday - RAIN - so soccer was rescheduled, the hayride was cancelled and outside activity was NONE! But we did get to go and visit Grandmom Beverly and Pop George. During our visit me and J. snuck out to do some holiday shopping and browsing (to help Santa out!) We actually completed out mission successfully - and that is all I can say on that topic! After dinner we headed home with one little detour through Little Italy - via Vacarros!!! My favorite eatery in Little Italy, and yes I know they only sell desserts! So on the way home I couldn't wait - I ate my entire cannoli-mmmmmmmmmmmm good!!!! H. had a mini one and the Trips shared some butter cookies with Dad - I need to start them young, no?

Needless to say it was a beautiful end to a rainy day!

Sunday - Sunny and Chilly - Finally feels like fall - tonight we are even supposed to get a frost here on the shore - YEAH! Today Ms. Stevie came to take our picture, we felt like celebrities having a photographer follow us around the yard taking shots of everyone, even Brittany (the dog got in a few). She is great, so sweet and great with the kids. Helena was somewhat of a PILL, I know it is hard for some of you to believe - Ha Ha Ha - but overall things went well.

Afterwards, we went to Boo at the Zoo. Everyone got in costume and H. got to go Trick-or-Treating. It was alot of fun and the weather was beautiful. I love to see the kids in costume, even some of the adults dressed the part. Afterwards we went to Grandmom Cindy's for dinner and to pick up some suitcases to take to Disney. We need to start packing some summer clothes now that fall is really here! Only 27 days until we leave to see The Mouse, Cinderella and H.'s favorite - Mulan! I think H. likes her because she is Sassy, who does that remind anyone of???

I got to chat with P. tonight and that was nice to catch up on her weekend. They went to some sacred caves and the pictures are beautiful. They had to climb over 200 steps to get to the top! Not only did they get a day trip, but a workout as well!! She sounds great and we determined tonight that our husbands can both be big marshmallows when it comes to their girls (not me or P. mind you!)!! But we really already knew that.....

October 26, 2007

Donuts With Dad

I have to say J. is getting pretty good at this "school" event participation thing. This morning at 8:00 am all of the DADs were invited to the Church Hill Vol. Fire House for Donuts and story time. About 200 families showed up for the event, the principal said it was the best turnout ever! H. got a free Elmo DVD and some games to help her learn her letter and sounds...not a bad way to start the day!

Today is also her Fall Party at school, so this afternoon I get to join in the fun!!! Well my few minutes to update you is up - the call of the wild has become a ROAR!!!!!!!!!!!

October 24, 2007

What a Circus...and not just mine...

This morning while making my bed, I heard the normal cry from the Trips that someone was in distress. As I turn the corner to look into the living room I see Parker and Preston standing in the toybox (looking totally innocent) and Peyton's skinny little legs kicking a mile a minute up in the air (apparently he went in Head First!). Although this was a perfect picture of the normal chaos, I did not have my camera handy! At least they made room for him - right???

I also got some good news today - a friend from the MOMS club gave birth to her second set of twins yesterday! From what I know everyone is doing well - Congratulations to M. and D. and big brother G. and big sister L.!!!

More good news - P. and her family are up and running with the internet in Malaysia, so communication has resumed. The phone line is not up yet, but soon! She and the family look great in all of the pics I have seen - can I tell you she saw a monkey sitting on the wall outside of her window the other night!!! Amazing.....

I have to go get my umbrella and wait for the bus - finally we have some rain!!!!! Yeah!!!

October 22, 2007

Houdini - Preston Houdini That Is...

Ok, I have now changed my question from WHY to HOW?

How does a 17 month old wearing a one piece outfit that snaps in the crotch take off his diaper and keep the snaps intact??? How I ask you, How? This is actually not the first time I have found him like this - amazing....the best part of all is searching for the rouge diaper and hoping that none of the others have already found it!!

How am I supposed to be in the spirit of fall - my favorite time of year no less - when it is over 75* outside??? Mother Nature is playing a cruel trick on me this year - if my bulbs (over 200 of them) start to bloom there will be he!! to pay!!! And to top it off there is a small field mouse living in my corn stalks, I feel like I should just put out a buffet sign! People, my green pepper plants are still producing peppers - it is the end of October, I can't bear to tear them out when they are still doing well, but I need them for the compost pile!!

OH MY, I think I am done venting for today.......

Halloween Party!

This weekend was jammed packed with events. First was the Halloween Party for the Annapolis Mothers of Multiples club, then Jason took the boys to dinner for GG's Birthday while H and I stayed to help clean up, then her and I had dinner at Hellas (mmmmmm crabcakes!) and finally we met up at Grandmom Cindy's for ice-cream cake. After cake, all of the kids drove home with Daddy and I went to the grocery store.

The Halloween Party was a huge success. I could not have done it without all of the help I received from MOMS and Dads who helped set-up, pick up food, bake cupcakes and cornbread, make homemade chili, work the trick-or treat line and put the hall back together.

We had about 80 adults and 80 kids ranging from 6 weeks to 8 years old. Everyone looked soooooo adorable dressed up. The triplets are Pooh, Eyore and Roo while H. is Tigger. We have a few other sets of triplets in the group - one set, all girls, wore different hoarse costumes and another boy/girl set was a monkey, elephant and tiger. One of my favorites was Molly's twin girls - both spiderman, although she had to talk one of them out of being Hugh from Ice Road Truckers (for those of you who watch Discovery)!!

GG will turn 76 this week, and what a surprise she had on Saturday. Her brother Wayne flew up from Fl. and her other siblings Kathy, Kenny and Carol - along with my Mom and Dad met them at Texas Roadhouse for dinner. She was quite surprised when she got there!!! So she had a party for 18! She got some really nice presents and some spending money for Disney in November.

Sunday was a day of productive rest! J. cut the grass, the trips played outside, H and I went shopping in the afternoon. In between we had home-made chicken pot pie for dinner and J. watched part of the Ravens game, the boys napped and H. played outside.

Today we begin a new adventure in our house - who knows what this week will bring, but rest assured I will keep you posted!

October 19, 2007

Just When You Thought It Was Safe....

(YEAH RIGHT!) Not in my house, especially when green beans are involved. Jason worked late the other night and before I could cover the plate with foil this is what occurred....the suspect was caught "green beans in hand"!!!! Peyton what are we going to do with you little man. It amazes me everyday how my 3 little "macgyvers" and their "ringleader" (H) can formulate a plan and carry it out with more precision than most adults. Hopefully they won't find the dental floss for a few more years, who knows what they would do with that!!!

October 18, 2007

Again, Could Someone Tell Me WHY!!!

This is really a 2 part request...

Part 1 - H. really wants to know why and as stated before I am beginning to wonder myself, so if you have any real answer to the question - Please let me know!!!!! Being 4 is tough when you are trying to figure out the mystery of the universe!! She makes me laugh when I give her the answer and she disagrees and proceeds to tell me what the correct answer is, only to make my head spin while trying to rationalize where her answer came from!!! Don't get me wrong, I truly do love our debates over why spiders make webs and why the trash man comes on Tuesday morning. My favorite debate of all is when I tell her she is my "Best Girl" and she tells me I am her "Best Mommy"! Who wants to argue with that????

Part 2 - Why do the Trips pull each other down and lay on top of the other, only to snag a piece of cracker when more is in the bowl? Why do the Trips like to climb on my chair to see out the window, but feel that is not close enough to nature that they must try to stand on the windowsill? Why do the Trips like to scream like little girls when they want something, only to have J. get the look of "This cannot be my future line of the football team!"? Why do the Trips like to take off all of their clothes after nap, but before they call for me to get them? Why do the Trips like to crawl in bed with H. in the morning to wake her up and give her kisses, only to leave her as quickly as they swarmed in? (She loves this by the way!!!) Why do the Trips like to give big, wet kisses and run by you hugs, only to leave you wondering - How did I get so lucky!!!!!

I guess I answered my own question!
**When the Trips were put down for nap, they were all fully clothed in jeans and long sleeve shirts! Parker is totally naked, that is why you only see his face in these pics!!

October 16, 2007

To What Do My Wondering Eyes Did Appear...

But my 3 little men standing around my toilet dunking in their pj's!!!!! This past weekend we outfitted all of the bathrooms with toilet and door locks so even if they did get in they could not open the lid. However, this morning someone left both locks undone and while writing H.'s note for being absent from school yesterday (cough and runny nose) I hear laughing and sloshing....I thought "This cannot be good!". And it wasn't - my little men were having a ball covered in water and when they got caught, every one of them looked up at me with sad eyes that said "He made me do it! I was not the one who opened the lid!" Needless to say everyone got a bath and took a morning nap so Mommy could have a time out and recover from this mornings events!!!

October 15, 2007

Field Trip Day with Daddy - Part 2

Everyone had a really great time at the Pumpkin Farm.

Daddy only had 1 other little girl in his group - her name is Charlene. H.,C. and Daddy each got to pick 6 ears of corn for popping, 1 pumpkin and 1 gourd. Then after the hayride, everyone had lunch and could play at the playground. The farm is actually a Christmas Tree farm, so we may be visiting them again.

This weekend was jam packed as usual, Saturday we went to Thurmont to the Apple Butter Festival. I got some really good things for the house as well as some Christmas presents. All of the kids, including my 35 year old one, were well behaved with only 1 meltdown from Parker and 1 from Jason! Not bad for a 12 hour day.....

October 12, 2007

Field Trip Day with Daddy

Today is the day...J. is on the bus as I write with an unknown number of 4 year olds in his care for the day at the Pumpkin Farm. H. kept telling him he had 10 in his group, I am thinking more line 2-3, but we will see! I do not know who was more excited J. or H. - Ha Ha! More to come later today.....

October 8, 2007

Pumpkins, Pumpkins and more Pumpkins!!

This weekend was filled with fall festivities, planting mums and daffodil/tulip bulbs, making pumpkin bread, going to the pumpkin farm and festival.

Only on the Easter Shore do you see a freshly painted red tractor with a 16 x 16 barn-board on the back of it stating "April and Ryan Just got Hitched! 10-6-07!" on your way to the pumpkin farm. And only on the Easter Shore do you see the bride and groom at the pumpkin farm getting their pictures taken....guess what 2 farm families just became 1!!! J and I laughed the entire way home.....
At the pumpkin farm everyone had a really good time, even though it was 90 degrees.

The farm we went to had a lot of activities for the kids including a corn box (instead of sand), a hay maze, a corn maze, a John Deere Combine that has been outfitted with swings and a slide right through the middle and H.'s favorite - the goats. After everyone found their perfect pumpkin and Mommy got her gourds and indian corn, we got some fresh cider and headed home to display our newly found fall decorations.

***The best part of being 4 - you get to go to the pumpkin farm again on Friday with you Daddy and friends from school! J. signed up to be a chaperone - H. told him he has 10 kids in his group! More to come on this later in the week!!!

October 5, 2007

Just 5 Minutes

This is what happened in the 5 minutes it took me to collect the daily laundry and get H. clothes for the day.....Can you tell who the ringleader of this operation was!!! (I really need to fix the date on the camera!!)

October 4, 2007

Help! I need to know.....

Can anyone tell me why Sprite comes in a Sprite can? or Why do we need gas from the pump? or just Why in general???? I cannot seem to sufficiently answer the above questions when my 4 year old asks!!!! And now I am starting to wonder Why myself!!!!

October 1, 2007

Whirlwind Weekend!

This weekend could not have been more jam packed with events - MoM's Yard Sale, Soccer, Wedding, Baby Shower and Fall Festival.....luckily we all survived the events and enjoyed everyone of them.

Soccer - Round Top did not "win" this weekend - however - H. scored her FIRST GOAL!!!!! She reportedly ran off the field in true Mia Hamm style and celebrated. I did not get to see it as I was at the Yard Sale, but Daddy gave me a play by play of the event. Not to mention that she came back in the game and scored a goal for the other team as well - but hey - they are only 4.

Wedding - always a good time when Mommy and Daddy get a night out to celebrate with the family. Walt and Melissa looked great and everyone had a good was a beautiful day for an outside wedding on the point of the Miles River.

Baby Shower - I love to celebrate babies and my friend and fellow MOM Marcy is expecting her second set of twins....this time 2 boys to add to her family. She was so stubborn about coming to our "Board Meeting" that we had to tell her it was actually her shower....Thanks again to Molly for hosting!

Fall Festival - while I was at the shower Jason took the kids to the fall festival at the 4-H Park in Centreville. Word is H. should be a little farm girl! She got to paint a pumpkin, touch a baby llama, sample some "beef", see cows being milked and ride a tractor. She was excited - it was a John Deere. Trust me, my girl knows her tractors. If it is not John Deere Green, it is not a tractor!!! Every weekend there is a little festival going on, it is great! Everyone is so friendly and most of the time it is "hands on" displays for the kids.

I think next weekend will be quiet! - YEAH RIGHT! - we only have Soccer and the Pumpkin Farm! Enjoy!

September 27, 2007

Hello! from Malaysia!

Today is one of those days; Mommy has a bad cold and is not feeling well, the Trips are mad at her because she installed a gate at the top of the stairs (to stop them from throwing things into the living room!), and H. wanted to give her brothers some chocolate milk this morning (did I mention she put it on their trays while they were eating breakfast!) and there is a very large spider spinning a web outside of my kitchen door.

Needless to say, Mommy was not having a good day, then the phone rang. It was P. from Malaysia!!!! "Hello from Malaysia" was what I heard and I could not have been happier!! She has only been gone a few days now, but I really miss her and her family....she wanted to let me know how things were. The new house is nice, gecko's poop everywhere, Little M. took Matty out of his crib and they were having a party in the bathroom (toothpaste and all at 2:00 am) and OJ costs $8.00 a carton....But overall she really did sound good! It will take time to adjust, they are all on western time still, so Little M's party really took place at 2:00 pm for her.....

I was just glad to hear they were there and had a safe journey across the Pacific to their new home! She will get in touch when they are up and running with phone and computer lines, but until then, I know she is well!!!

September 25, 2007

The Coveted Yellow Ribbon!

Yesterday, H. got off of the bus proudly wearing the "coveted yellow ribbon"! What does this mean you ask? It means that she was chosen to be the "Special Person of the Day"! The SPOD gets to count the calendar, check the weather, start the Pledge of Allegiance, be the line leader (all day, no less) and start the class song/dance! What more could you ask for when you are 4!! Needless to say, she was very excited and showed anyone that looked her way...Yeah H.!

Yesterday was also a big day in her ballet career - in ballet class they got to watch a portion of the Nutcracker ballet and then had to dance like falling snowflakes that were melting! How cute! I cannot wait until visitation in November to see my little ballerina in action, if it is anything like the "showings" at home, we are in for a treat!!!

**FYI - Soccer Update - Round Top did really well on Saturday, 11-3 over Centreville!

September 20, 2007

Hair Cuts!!

Today my friend Anne, who has a beauty shop on her farm, gave all of the kids a haircut. The 3 P's sat in the chair like big boys and didn't even take the token lolly that she offered. They look like "little men" now. H., of course is a professional when it comes to getting her hair done. She tells me I don't need to stand by the chair because she is a big girl. Today however I needed to stay, we cut a few inches off! She looks really cute, if I do say so myself. After her cut she and Anne's son went to play with the kittens, feed the horses, check on the chickens and feed the dogs. This is life on the Eastern Shore!!! I had trouble getting her to leave so we could catch the bus to school, but in the end Mom won and we made the bus right on time!!! Here is a picture of her smelling the roses.....

September 17, 2007

There is Always Drama in Our House

So where to begin....last Thursday instead of going to hug my friends and wish them safe travel, we ended up at the Dr.'s office once again. Pt and Pj were having respitory issues again, and not wanting to do another overnight in the hospital, off we went. Dr.K set us up with a neb schedule and some steroids and by Friday evening everyone was breathing normally!!! Yeah!!! Needless to say we did not have any adventures this weekend except soccer. The team did really well, J. said it was 9-4 , so go Round Top!!

On Friday I went to see P. to say goodbye (tissues ready to go) and she had some news! Their passports were not back yet, so they are not leaving until next one more week in the hotel, living out of suitcases and trying to go on with a daily routine. M is still in school until this Friday and we do get to celebrate her and little M's birthday this weekend, so that will be a nice send-off!!!

Right now I am waiting for the rep. to come and give us an estimate on a new garage door panel. I know we just moved in in March. Someone, I have an idea who but will not point any fingers, left a shovel handle in the track and when he went to put the door down, it got damaged. Now when you raise the door, it makes a sound like it is going to fall off!! Tomorrow the carpet company will be coming out to replace the carpet in the living room, Brittany got out of her crate one weekend when we were on a day trip and decided to teach us a lesson! Needless to say, she gets double locked in the crate now whenever we leave!!!

This weekend we did get H. her ballet leotard with skirt, so I will post pictures of the dancing princess soon!!

September 13, 2007

Saying GoodBye!

Today is a crazy day for me and my family. After all of the normal daily activities, we are going to visit some friends who are moving to Malaysia on Monday. P. and I have become good friends over the last 2 years. Her youngest son and the trips are only 3 weeks apart in age, plus her 2 girls (3 and 7) and H. really have a good time together. I am going to miss the quick "vent" we could do when the kids or our husbands have "temper tantrums".......but we live in the era of e-mail and Vonage, so communication should not be tooo difficult after they are settled in KL. I promised myself that I would not cry when we see each other tonight, but we will see how that goes.....

September 12, 2007

A New Adventure

A new adventure, sounds good to me! We are always looking for a new adventure in our lives, and this way I can share them with everyone.

It is hard to believe that our 9 year wedding anniversary is coming up this fall. It seems like yesterday I was sitting in my first college lecture hall when this guy sits next to me out of the blue. The hall was basically empty, but he sat next to me? Little did we know 9 years later we would be married with 4 children and a dog.....

Now a new adventure has begun - H. is in school, soccer and ballet class. She goes to Pre-K4 5 days a week and of course loves every minute of it, especially riding the bus. Soccer is going well. They do not offically keep score, but we (the parents) know they are 1-1. I am the team MOM, yes a real life "soccer mom" - go figure.

This week we had our first ballet class and I got good reviews from Mrs. Teri. The little girl she sits with on the bus is in her class. H. and N. have become good friends. H. has requested a leotard with a skirt so she can watch it twirl in class, so off to Target we go. I mean she may follow in her mother and god-mothers footsteps and dance for 17+ years, so she needs to be prepared.

Last night I felt like an official Mom. We had our first Back to School Night. I figure by the time the trips make it to Pre-K I will be a pro at PTA meetings, fund raisers and not going to any school function without my checkbook.

Well, Sesame Street is over and it is time to get ready for school, lunch and the bus....which leads to lunch and playtime with the trips, the usual load (or 2) of laundry and getting dinner started before the bus comes back.....if I have time, maybe some chocolate chip cookies will be in order....