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!!