August 12, 2008

Some of My Favorite Happenings....

I have been a huge slacker on my blogging over the last few weeks, so here are some of my favorite happenings....

- while standing in front of the judge in traffic court he asked "When was the last time you received a traffic violation?". I replied " I was a freshman in college, sir". He replied "Ms. Smith, that could have been last year!" Little did he know it was 15 years ago.

- going to Dutch Wonderland with the kids and having a truly fun filled day - no meltdowns, no temper tantrums, no arguing - just fun! We arrived when they opened at 10:00 and headed out around 3:00. I loved watching Parker, Preston and Peyton get on the rides just like the big kids and my little dare-devil getting on her fave - the Frog Hopper!!

- while Parker was having a temper tantrum he was blocking the hallway to lunch, so Peyton (blanket in hand) just casually stepped over him, blanket dragging the ground and headed to lunch where he helped himself to Parker's applesauce!

- while driving in the car Helena wanted to play "weatherman". She asked us to call her "Weather Girl Helena", so we said OK. Then we each had to pick a name - I chose "Storm Girl" and Jason picked "Rain Man". Helena told him "NO", because Mommy was already "Storm Girl"! OK, call me "Sun Man". Once again, she told him "NO", you can be "Hot Daddy Sun"! I think he liked his new name :)

- taking all of the kids to get haircuts (by myself) and it going well! The person who invented Lollipops was a genius!!

- watching Helena prepare for the big K is amazing. I love to hear her say "When does school start?" because I know she really likes it.

- going in to check on the boys at night and finding them all snuggled together in one toddler bed (it looks like a night after a Frat Party actually, not that I would know Mom - I just heard about things like that!)

- watching Preston and Peyton sit at the dinner table like big boys eating their dinner (6 chicken tenders and dip, french fries and dip, a slice of cantaloupe, a slice of watermelon and a glass of milk - each). Parker - well we are still working with him :)

- watching Parker using his right hand for everything, while Preston and Peyton use their left. Explain that one?

July 30, 2008

Proud Parenting Moment 2,736

Today I decided that it would be a good idea to make peach jam and can some peaches. Growing up I can remember my Mom and Nonnie canning every summer - peaches, applesauce, pickles and, of course, tomatoes. So we pack up the van and head to Target for supplies.

While in Target I almost lost every bit of sanity I had!! The triplets were just little terrors!!! Parker and Peyton wanted to be held (because that is easy when I am pushing and pulling a cart), then they decided they were going to boycott sitting and stand up every other second! After sitting them down 157 times and putting the 10 items I needed in the cart we headed for the checkout.

Right before the checkout was a display of Hannah Montana shirts. Helena had mentioned that she liked one of them, so as I turn to look for her size (because she was a FANTASTIC LISTENER the entire trip) I hear a sales associate say "Hey little man, please sit down". As I look back Parker is standing on his seat in the cart yet again! Then Peyton decides to join in and she proceeds to tell me and my sons that "Little boys that stand in carts sometimes fall down"! while I am sitting then down for the 156th time of the trip. (157 happened in the checkout line)

My response should have been: Really?!?!?! You mean it is not a safe thing to do????? , but I just looked at her as she began to explain the dangers of little boys standing in carts to me and I said in a not so nice voice with hand gestures (like I was Italian) "I GOT IT!"

I am not an idiot - I know it is not safe and do you think it really lead to an enjoyable trip??? I am in this store at least once a week with my circus - last week was a trip of perfection - this week I did not even stop to get my Starbucks on the way out!! (That is my treat for surviving the trip to Target - good or bad.) Now I know I was rude and it was not an appropriate way to act - but please give me some credit here lady - I am shopping with 4 kids!!!

July 29, 2008

Peach Pickin'

This weekend was a disaster - all 4 of the kids got colds and of course Parker and Preston escalated to nebs by Saturday night. It is amazing what a normal cold can do to them!! Helena and Peyton - just colds. So after several days of nebbing, potentially cancelling our trip to the orchard with friends and proactively cancelling Angie spending a few days with us (Helena was mad!!!!!!!!!!!) because she is going on vacation this weekend............we woke up sounding like normal 2 year olds!

Yeah! Summer Sunshine here we come!! I could not wait to get out of the house and get them some fresh air.....not to mention getting some pent up energy out! So off to the orchard I went - 4 kids in tow (with no morning coffee because I hit snooze on the alarm). After 4 poopie diapers, yes 4, getting everyone dressed, lunch packed because I was tooo lazy to do it last night and packing up the van - we were off with 15 minutes to spare. This orchard - Godfrey's Farm - is a local place were I do almost all of my vegetable shopping for the week. Lisa, the owner, is also a MOM of twin girls and a super sweet woman!

We had 10 families from my MOMs club participate and it was so much fun to see how excited all of the kids got when they found "the perfect peach"! Helena was so funny, as soon as she saw Kenzie there (she is the only girl in her set of 2 year old triplets), she was done with me and off to help her girlfriend! Helena did a great job picking a 1/2 bushel of awesome looking peaches for me. Me and the boys hung out by the edge of the orchard (monkey backpacks and all) and collectively we picked a peck! They liked throwing the peaches they found on the ground at Ms. Lisa, the funny thing is she would throw it back - her farm she makes the rules right!!

After picking we headed to the park for some lunch and playtime.....they had a blast playing with a bunch of kids just like them. Leaving the park was not so easy, but hanging out with a group of friends who don't even blink at a tantrum is awesome! No one looks at you like you are going to put your kid in therapy for the rest of their lives!!

Helena, the boys and I had a really nice day that led to a nap for everyone but me. Trust me it did not go perfectly by some standards, but by mine it was pretty darn great! I love to create new traditions with the kids so we can make a point of doing it every year. Our large group of plenty had a great time and it is fun to spend time with my friends and their families. I am hoping to find a local orchard that grows apples so we can keep up our Pick Your Own tradition for our family and extended family.

July 23, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow??

While I was growing up, my Grandfather always had a vegetable garden. When I was little I was in charge of the parsley bed and every Friday I would collect some to take to my Great Grandmother in Canton.

Every spring he would start his seeds and let them grow on the front porch until they were ready for planting. After planting, I loved to watch the garden grow and help him pick tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and squash.

Now I have my own garden to watch grow and this year we have doubled the size, for several reasons. 1 - Do you know how much 4 kids can eat?? 2- I use it as therapy!! I never mind planting, weeding, harvesting. This year we had some pumpkin seeds (from our composted soil) take root - that was a nice surprise. Best of all we have had a great yield.....over 20 zucchini, 15 squash, cucumbers, carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, green peppers, broccoli, pumpkins, tomatoes, strawberries, blueberries, basil and of course parsley. We only lost our chives and green beans (Jason tilled them under thinking they were weeds).

Helena loves to help me pick the vegetables, especially the strawberries which hardly ever make it to the house!! There is something gratifying about making a salad with the vegetables you picked fresh that afternoon, I can't fully explain it. Some of the pumpkins are almost ready, so pies are on their way. Zucchini - let me count the would be surprised. Tomatoes and peppers - homemade spaghetti sauce, tomato sandwiches.

I am already thinking of what we can do next year to improve our garden - I know we will expand it one more time - have you seen the way my boys eat??? - and add a few more varieties. Plus, I want to add some raspberry bushes and fruit trees.

I hope my kids grow up with the same appreciation I have for "watching my garden grow"?

July 20, 2008

Summertime, Sweet Summertime

Summertime, Sweet Summertime.....what is it all about?

Perfect song on the radio
Sing along, 'cause it's what we know
It's a smile, It's a kiss
It's a sip of wine, It's summertime
Sweet Summertime

Remember when those lyrics spoke to us in a way that we totally understood because it was the life we were living! Now our lives have changed and Sweet Summertime has some new meanings (but that doesn't mean we have to give up the old ones or the memories of those days gone by!!).

The past few weeks since I have been back from AK have been a lot of fun, busy, but fun. Here are a few things that have made my summertime sweet.......

- the triplets have gone through another rite of passage - Fla-vor-ice pops! They love them - now I am not the biggest fan of giving the boys 100% sugar as a snack, but come on it's a kid thing!! Helena has taught them proper ice pop eating procedure, plus they even share and trade if they like the other ones flavor.

-going to the beach - Today we day tripped it to the beach for some fun in the sand, wave jumping and pony sightings. The kids did great!! Helena and Parker love to get in the water - Parker is a little dare-devil who loves to "jump waves". Preston likes to chase the waves back and forth while playing in the wet sand. Peyton for the first part of the day just wanted to be held while I stood in the water, but by the end of the day Jason had him chasing waves (with a pretzel bag in his hand, that by the way, did not get dropped even when he got smacked in the face by a little wave. That boy takes his snacking very seriously!!).

- pizza at Dough Roller - Why, I am not sure, but I love their pizza. I think it is because we can usually get through a dinner there with little to no issues and lots of eating in a reasonable amount of time. Plus what screams summer at the beach, besides Thrashers, Dumsers, Jessica's Fudge, can tell where this is going!

- sitting on the deck watching the kids in the Kiddie Pool - Saturday we stayed at home and finished up the weekly "chores" - laundry, cleaning, grass mowing, etc. But after lunch the kids got in the little pool and just had a blast. There was a nice breeze blowing and the 4 of them were having a great time, which meant me and Jason were having a great time watching some harmony!

- GNO at the Rams Head - how great is it that we can declare a GNO and call it a date (because my husband, unlike some others I know, will make a point to be home on time so I can have a night off!)! I had a lot of fun at dinner and it was nice to get to know some new MOMs in our club a little better. Plus the food and drink was great....Lynchburg Lemon-aid anyone?

- Helena - before you know it, school will be back in session and we will not have so much time together baking, doing crafts, playing with the brothers in the moon bounce, etc. That little MISS can push my buttons to no end, she knows what she wants and will debate and negotiate until she gets it, but I secretly love that about her!! Don't get me wrong, she tries to wear me down and sometimes wins, but later in life that will be a great trait to have developed (for when she becomes President of the United States).

- going to the zoo - this could be a post all on its own, but I will give the concise version. Tuesday of last week I called Lauri to see if she wanted to go to the Maryland Zoo with us. She has boy twins the same age as the boys and a 4 yr old son, our kids have played together before and get along well. 6:15 that morning, my friend Beth calls in a panic, her sitter is sick and she just started a new job, can I watch Natalie - sure - what's one more!! I have already had the forethought to call my cousin Angie to help me out for the day and she has graciously agreed for the adventure.

At 10:30 am (2) adults, (1) teenager, (1) 4 year old, (2) 5 year old and (5) 2 year olds enter the zoo!! I have to say - we had a great day - we saw the new baby elephant Samson, then headed to do the "Maryland" side of the zoo. The boys, all 6 of them, loved the ducks so much I think we spent 15-20 minutes just looking at them. The otters were being fed, so that was a treat, they went thought the bat cave and saw the working farm animals.

By 1:15 my guys started to melt down, so after lunch we headed out (Parker showing how well his lungs work!!). Overall it was a nice day out with friends, the beauty of traveling with another MOM is that you go into it with realistic expectations of what a successful day really is with 11 people, 8 of them under 5!!

We decided our next trek is to the Washington Zoo, so watch out, we could be calling you to help chaperon this one!!!

I hope your Summertime is sweet and you are making lasting memories as well............

July 10, 2008

First Week Back To Work!

As Jason was running out the door Monday morning about 4:30 am he told me to "Have a good day!" and kissed me on the forehead like he has done every morning for the last 9.75 years! (And I seriously mean every morning he leaves for work he does this!!)

Back to work after a great vacation - a vacation that I could actually vacate - do you know I did not change a diaper for 7, count them 7 full days!!!!!!!! Don't get me wrong I missed all of my boys very much while I was gone, but I knew Dad would take care of everything while I was gone - no worries. Well one worry, "How long was it going to take me to get my boys back on schedule???"

Big Credit to Jason - while I was gone he took the triplets to the park (alone), out to dinner, to the zoo with his Aunt, to the Beach for 3 day with his parents and arrived back home in time to greet us at the gate when we got off of the plane (all 3 boys in tow)! Everyone was well fed (the fridge and pantry were empty) and of course the house was clean - anyone who knows my husband knows he has serious OCD!

So back to the schedule - It has taken me 4 days to remind the boys that Mommy likes to use the gate in the living room, but other than that and Helena still being on AK time, my van being in the shop for 4 days, me being on AK time and trying to reinstate the daily schedule while adding the required reading list and workbooks for Helena, plus starting to potty train the boys - we are doing OK!!

Honestly - I have only had to put myself in time out once a day for the last 4 days, so that is not tooo bad if you ask me!?!?!?! Tonight, as I was walking around the outlets looking for some onesies for the boys - they totally understand that you need to remove your diaper to sit on the potty, the problem is Parker and Preston always want to streak around the house, so snaps it is - I found this note pad (while looking at the Vera Bradley sale rack) with the best quote...

"Today is A Gift...That is Why it is Called the Present"

I love it - it gives me the reality check that I need when my boys are trying to push my buttons and H. is telling me that "I am not playing with you Mommy, now can I have some candy?". The reality is - I am truly blessed to have these little people in my life to push my buttons and repeat back to me what I say to them. Those crazy moments are totally outweighed by the fantastic, funny, great ones. I am blessed that I have a husband (of almost 10 years) who does not complain (often) when I need to venture out by myself to get it all back together so I can have an even better day tomorrow!

July 9, 2008

Alaska Day 5 and 6 - All Around Town

It is hard to believe that I am still on AK time - come on people at 2am I am still wide awake.....when will the madness end??

None the less here is a quick recap of Day 5 and 6 of our trek up north....

Day 5 - After waking up and getting everyone ready to go to the Dog Sled Show - we make a pit stop at the Alaska Fur Exchange where low and behold I found them, yes there they were just waiting for me to buy (because remember this is the only thing, with the exception of Big Louie's homemade salsa, that my husband asked me to bring him back) a 4 foot tall stack of Moose Antlers, which sat next to the kitchen table size pile of Caribou horns!! I was very excited that I did not have to go into the woods and track them myself. Did you know that when you pay for them, you buy them by the pound?? Yes, by the pound but I didn't waver because, bless his heart this trip was his idea to begin with, and although there was some grief here and there, he deserved them.

So as I make my $228.00 purchase ($214.00 for the antlers, $14.00 for my ivory earrings) I felt successful - my main mission was complete!!

Off to the show we go! The setup of the show was not fantastic by any means, but the people and information were wonderful. The first person you meet has run and finished the Iditarod 4 times, the next young lady is not yet 18 so she cannot run the race yet - however she had won several Jr. competitions and finally you meet Dallas Seave - his dad won in 2004 and he is the youngest person to ever finish the race at 18. After the show you could meet some of the dogs and hold several of the puppies. The kids really enjoyed their day.

Afterwards we went back to the house and got everyone ready to go over Aunt Jackies for dinner and a showing of "Camp Rock". The girls were very excited and so were P. and I because we got to have dinner at The Lucky Wish Bone -(think small town place Rachel Ray would go on one of her shows). It was the best - homemade onion rings, great burgers, etc. Then we went shopping downtown and I got some great handmade gifts for everyone.

Day 6 - We headed to the zoo and to the Imaginarium (think Port Discovery). Both places were fun, especially for the kids who could touch anything and everything they wanted. We headed to the Golden Arches for lunch in between and DQ afterwards. I love DQ! When we got home Georgia had grilled some burgers and we had dinner, and crashed (after blogging, a game of cards and doing some laundry)!

I have to say - here is where I get mushy - I really do miss P. It was great to see her and typically she is on a 12 hour time difference so calls are sometimes hard. She is the best Mom - hello people she traveled from Malaysia, had to get on 3 planes and flew for almost 24 hours with 3 kids?!?!) She pretty much ROCKS in my book! L. will be here this weekend - I know he misses them so much! It will be nice for all of them to have some family time at home, one of their US homes that is.

P. - thanks again for letting us crash your vacation - we truly enjoyed the experience and loved every minute of it. We will have to do it again in another 10 months.
G. and Big L. - without you guys this vacation would not have been as much fun as it was. Your hospitality and generosity was tremendous and we will forever be thankful for the memories you helped us create.
B - I will never forget how you crushed me at cards - I will have to practice and call for a rematch some day!

P.S. I forgot to mention that the antlers will be arriving around the 15th of this months, and the shipping cost more then the purchase price! But I guarantee you that we are probly the only house on the Shore that will have a pair hanging in their living room!

July 5, 2008

Alaska - Day 4 - Alaska RR and Resurrection Bay

Today we ventured to Seward by way of the Alaska Rail Road. To say the train ride was beautiful does not justly describe it. It was amazing to see the snow covered mountains, glaciers, wildlife, waterfalls, etc. When we arrived in Seward, we headed to the docks and boarded the Star of the Northwest for a boat tour of Resurrection Bay. Sewared reminds me a lot of Edgartown on Marthas Vineyard (minus the mountains of course!). The quait little towns where everyone makes you feel like you are at home.

While on the boat we got the girls binocculars to see the sights a little better. H.was so funny, because I do not really know what she saw out of them but she looked like a little explorer.

Heading out of the Seward docks we saw a Bald Eagle flying over head and he swooped down to catch a fish right in front of the boat (this part I missed, but everyone else saw it!!). We Cormorants. There were remnants of Copper mines in the side of the mountains, they were in use until the earthquake of 1964 when the land sunk 10 feet. Also in the side of the mountain is an old post from WWII when the area housed a fort, it was thought that Seward may be on the attack list because it was the big port at the time.

Just before arriving at the Gulf of Alaska we came upon some rocks covered in Stellar Sea Lions. They were just lounging on some cliffs and shorelines in the beautiful sun of the day. You could hear them growl and bellow from the boat. After rounding Barwell Island we saw the most amazing thing - the blow of a Humpback Whale. There is was, about 100 yards from the boat! The kids were going crazy, as well as the adults. We trolled for about 15 minutes to watch them swim by, showing off their tail flukes. When H. spotted a "blow" she was so excited - I told her she found him first!!

After that, we headed to Bear Glacier, again words cannot describe the sight. On this part of the trip is where we got to see the next amazing thing - a pod of 6 Orca Whales. Watching the dorsal fins break the water followed by the tail is just amazing. I will never look at Shamu the same way again!! In the Kenai Fjords there are 2 types of Orca pods, local and transient. Obviously we will never know which pod we saw, but I just thought that was interesting.

Now we were heading back to Seward, so P. and I were able to take a break and enjoy some dessert. I forgot to mention we were served a prime-rib and salmon dinner on the boat. We enjoyed some coffee and cheesecake and prepared for a relaxing ride back. When we arrived at the dock, we boarded the bus to the train and just made the last call.

The train ride home was nice, at one point we had to slow down because there was a moose running down the middle of the track! We got a chance to have dinner in the dining car and play some cards to pass the time. To remember her train ride H. chose to get each of her brothers a train whistle and she got a wooden train.

Needless to say we were very tired when we reached the house around 10:30 pm - our day started at 4:00 am. H. fell asleep in the car on the way home and all I had to do was carry her in and get her in her jammies.

Tomorrow we hunt for moose antlers.....

Alaska - Day 3 - Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Portage Glacier and Alyeska Ski Resort

If you ever have a chance to look at a map of Alaska, you will notice that there is usually one way to anywhere you can get to by car. The highway system is very minimal. In fact, if you want to go to Whittier, you have to wait in your vehicle until the train goes through the only tunnel and they open it up to cars. This is the road we traveled today. On one side of the 2 lane road is mountains with Dall Sheep on them, on the other is Cook Inlet and the mud flats.

On our way to Portage, we visited the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. As we pulled in Helena screamed and jumped out of her seat - there it was - a MOOSE! She was so excited just does not describe her enough. The park was great - we saw coyote, black bear, bison, sitka, elk, etc. For a non-profit organization they do a great job. Before we left, we got to watch a black bear wake up from a nap in a tree and shimmy his way back down.

When we reached Portage it was cold!! It was also amazing to see snow covered mountain tops in June. The glacier is not actually visible from the road anymore, it has moved behind the mountains. You could see the Burns Glacier and the Shakespeare Glacier. There was also a small ice burg floating in the Portage Sea. We toured the visitors center and a Ranger was giving a talk about moose. The kids were very attentive to the talk, so was I. I wish I could give you more information about the area, but the pamphlet I picked up is in German!! Needless to say the area is beautiful.

After Portage we headed over to Alyeska Ski Resort and yes, 4 trails were open. They got a late snow in May! Most people were hiking from the new hotel to the top, but we took the tram up and back down. The kids had a snowball fight when we reached the top. Most of the trails on this side of the resort are double black diamond. The tram driver and I got to talking and he actually grew up in Maryland, Denton to be exact (20 minutes from where I live now!) The area itself reminds me of Deep Creek Lake with all of the cabins and such around the base of the mountains. P. said this is where they would come to spend weekends with friends growing up.

After that, we headed back to Casa de Monzon and were greeted with a great chicken dinner. Georgia and Big Louie really took care of us during our trip. Their hospitality was unbelievable and we could not be thankful enough!! We got a local lead on some antlers thanks to Georgia, so Tuesday we will see what we can find....

July 1, 2008

Alaska - Day 2 - Downtown Anchorage

Having a "local" as your tour guide is the best, especially when it is your friend!

Saturday morning we got up and headed to the Saturday Market with H. and Malloree. Madeline went fishing with her Papa and Matthew stay home with Nanny Georgia. The market was bustling with all kinds of vendors, craftors and food. (Think Thurmont on a smaller scale.)

After walking the market for a while we headed over to the Anchorage Brewing Company where we met Louie's sister Jackie and son for lunch. I had a draught root beer and fish and chips for lunch. At home the fish is usually New Zealand Cod, here it is Alaskan Rock or Halibut - I went for the halibut. It was really good along with the Parmesan Fries. The building also houses the Imaginarium, an interactive museum for kids but we will visit that when Madeline is with us.

The center street of Anchorage was closed for the Fireman's Challenge so we headed over there next. They did some safety demos and several of the surrounding Stations did an obstacle course in full gear. The girls loved it, especially when they turned on the fire hose.

After that we headed back to the market for some more shopping and rounded out our day with some kettle corn. I got some great pictures of the city and surrounding areas.

After heading home for some rest and an easy dinner of pizza (Pam and I went to Costco to pick it up) we just prepared for Sunday. The one thing J. keeps asking for is a set of Moose Antlers, so we did some research on that as well. Thanks to Big L, we had some leads on where to get them.

So far no Moose sighting though....

Alaska - Day 1 - The Arrival

Friday - June 27

So there we were 4:30 am getting the van ready to head to BWI. The boys were wondering what they were doing up before the sun, H. was ready to go and so was I. J. drove us to the airport with a speedy drop-off right at 6:30. We had just enough time to grab a coffee and snack before heading to our plane for a 7:30 departure.

The plane ride to Houston was about 3 hrs. and went by pretty fast at that hour. The 3 hour delay to get on the plane to Anchorage, not so fast, but we made the best of it and I found a Brighton Store right by Starbucks! What more could a country girl ask for.....

The 7 hour flight to Anchorage was pretty awesome - we could see the mountains for miles and we even got to see Mt. Rainer. H. didn't start to melt down until the last hour, that was not too bad since she had been on a plane for 10 hours at that point. When we arrived in Anchorage (9:45 pm east coast time) we were met at the gate by Ms. P., Madeline and Malloree. It was so great to see them - the kids are so big and P. looks great!! When we got back to G. and L.'s house dinner was just about to hit the table and H. could not have been happier - tacos, rice and beans!! What more could she have asked for....

After visiting for a little while, we headed to bed and totally crashed - it was 10:00 pm here, but my body was reminding me it was 2:00 am and had been up for 22 hours. Oh and it is summer, so there is no nighttime - only dusk! (Try explaining that to a 5 year old.)

June 26, 2008

And We're Off!

Hey there chicklets! I will not be blogging for a while - I will be in Alaska!! H. and I leave tomorrow bright and really, really early to head out to visit Ms. Pam and her family. I cannot even tell you how excited I am. I am truly going to miss my guys (big and little), but this is not a chance we may ever get again!

I will take lots and lots of pics and hopefully have some awesome stories to tell.

:) D

June 24, 2008

Only on The Eastern Shore!

Only on the Eastern Shore...

...will you be going through a small town like mine when you notice the local lawman is standing on the front porch of the police dept. (because it resides in the same house it has for 75 years) with a radar gun!

...will you be riding down the road, pass a John Deere Tractor and your 5 year old daughter breaks out into her rendition of "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" by Kenny Chesney (and know all of the words). However she will only sing it when a JD is involved, no other tractor will do.

...will you do most of your shopping for the week at the local farm stands and cattle farms, knowing that it is fresh. Too bad we can't have our own cow for milk!

June 23, 2008

Helena - A Whole Handful

Tomorrow is the big day! Helena will be a whole handful - the big 5!

As her and I were making zucchini (from our garden) bread tonight it hit me pretty hard that my little girl is growing up - really fast. It doesn't seem like that long ago I was preparing my bag for the hospital, waiting to go get the amnio done to see if she was doing OK to deliver, when Dr. Luecke said "No Donna, she needs the "other" packet of paperwork. This baby is coming today, there is not enough fluid to tap for an amnio!" OK - I was about to become a Mom. It only took from 9 am to 11:46 pm to become a Mom, but that is another story!

The day after she was born, Pop Stanley said "Helena, she is going to be Hell on Wheels!" and I think she heard him loud and clear. She would not nurse or gain weight and at 6 weeks had pyloric stonosis surgery (you know the one that happens in first born males??)

I love her for so many reasons - she is strong willed and knows what she wants, she can delegate a group in a minute (one Mom told me she is going to be President on day!). She is the true meaning of a Tom Boy, one minute she is dressed like a princess, the next she is doing worm races at camp with a flower in her hair. She doesn't mind when her brothers wake her up every morning by jumping on her bed, poking her in the forehead or cuddling up under the covers with her. She likes ballet, tap and soccer. Her favorite princess is Mulan, the little Chinese girl who kicked the Huns a** in war, not Cinderella the gentle girl who befriends mice and wore a glass slipper. She loves shoes, any kind and has no fashion sense what ever, but loves to dress herself. She loves her brothers just as much as I love mine. She is my shadow in the kitchen and in the garden. She hates to clean up after a mess, but loves getting messy. She loves to sing and play with her brothers, and teach them new things (walking up the slide counts, right?). She loves to "read", especially in bed and sleeps with books under her pillow. She can always make me feel better when I have a bad day, especially when she tells me I am her best Mommy. She is 100% Daddy's girl. She likes to break the House Rules, but will enforce on others in a minute. She loves her family, immediate and extended and has more cousins than she can count. I could go on, but there are just so many to list......

She pushes my buttons to no end sometimes, I think that is because we are so much alike at times and so different at others. I love her with all of my heart!!

This Saturday was her birthday party(s). From 10am to 12:30 we had 15 of her cousins and friends come over for a Scales and Tales presentation. The big (Jason and Uncle Brian) kids and little kids all loved it and sat at attention for the full 40 minutes. The rangers gave a great talk and really spoke to the kids (5-11) as well as adults. Totally wort the money! After that we had cake, ice-cream and some really nice presents. Helena's teacher Mrs. Chance and her youngest son even stopped by (at Helena's request) for the party.

Uncle Dan, Aunt Melissa, Victoria and Emily gave Helena exactly what she asked them for 2 months ago - a bunny. Buttercup is chocolate brown and just the sweetest thing. Uncle Dan even built her a hutch for the cooler weather. Right now she is sleeping in Helena's room.

At 2:30 we had the family over for party #2. We enjoyed fried chicken and steamed crabs (local is the best!!) We sang again and did round 2 of presents. Helena got quite a bit of spending money for our trip to Alaska later this week, plus some dress up clothes, Barbies, Hannah Montana dress up, doll and clothes. It was all a very nice day. Splitting up the day gave Helena (Mommy and Daddy) a chance to unwind and spend time with everyone.

June 8, 2008

Family Update!

The computer type that is, the animal - not my favorite, but being a horticulturalist I appreciate the work that they do for the planet! About 2 weeks ago we got a worm on our computer, hence the reason we have not updated the blog in quite a while. Who in the world has time to sit around and develop a "worm" to basically cause people grief, money and more grief. All for the purpose of ????

Anyway, there have been some big events in our family over the last few weeks. Baby Brice had made his appearance, Baby Taylor just made her debut yesterday, "Little" Chris graduated from High School, Angie and Sarah graduated from the 8th grade, Lilly graduated from Pre K and Helena had her first Ballet Recital yesterday! I think that covers it all in the short and sweet version.

Big things are happening and it may seem crazy to someone who comes from a small family, but to us, it is just a normal year! There is always a graduation of some sort, and if we are lucky a wedding and birth (or 2). It just means that as a family, we are growing and growing. It is hard to believe that we all came from one Little Polish Lady who used to love to stand with her hands on her hips! God Bless her, I often wonder at times if she even knew what HE had in store for her when she became a mom. I like to think that those who have moved "up" in this world have the best times up "there" drinking a shot of vodka, eating the best food, playing jokes on each other and often join us in spirit when we are sharing the big (and small) events as well.

I have friends who come from very small families or from families that do not communicate and I just think of how much fun they are missing out on! It is not always a walk in the park, don't get me wrong, but I like knowing that at any moment I have an army of loved ones that will get me through the good, the bad and the ugly if need be!

May 23, 2008

Are You Serious???

The new Target in Easton has these great carts that allow all 3 of my triplets to have a seat at the front of the cart. It really works well when I have all 4 with me, not to mention the pit stop we make at Mc Donald's for 4 small fries!!!

Anyway here I am, shopping yesterday evening, when I had the kids parked at the end of the aisle and I went to crab some floor cleaner....

Woman with friend:"Oh my God! If I had all of those kids I would kill myself!"
Me: walking to cart with cleaner, appalled by comment
Woman with friend: "I feel so sorry for you! And all boys too!"
Me: "Do not feel sorry for me in any way! I am perfectly happy with my family! Helena come here please."
Woman with friend: "Oh my, you have another one too?"
Me: "Yes she is mine as well"
Woman with friend: "Well I guess it is so much easier now that they can play together all of the time and keep each other occupied!"
Me: "Or they could just throw each other on the floor like a WWF Smackdown to get the toy away from the other, like they do everyday, while keeping each other occupied. That makes is soooo much easier!"
Friend: "I think we better let Mom finish her shopping now!"

May 22, 2008


Thanks to my "Little Sister" Kate, I was reading my first issue of Wonder time magazine when I saw it - the article that would bring me to tears (laughing that is!). The title:

boy, oh boy,

oh boy, oh boy,

oh boy! a mom of

5 sons tells all

Now this woman (Jacquelyn Mitchard) is already my hero! Apparently she has survived, so there is hope for me!! I knew I was going to like her when I read the tag line on the first page:

"Raising five (five!) sons! It's not pretty. But it is pretty great."

And here are some of my favorite parts of the article:

"Don't try to mess with me. I'm the equivalent of a 30-year beat cop or a career fighter pilot. I have five sons." (My version right now is wrestling referee and boot-camp platoon leader.)

"You can raise your son as a Quaker, a vegan or a pagan; he's still going to fight with his brother over an unused pen cap as thought it were the Star of India." (In my house it is anything that has to do with wheels or petrified food!)

In reference to the Y chromosome....."I'm heavily invested in that Y. My life without my sons would be a haven of peaceful and predictable days and nights. Who wants that? My daughters make sense. My sons make nonsense."

And finally my favorite....

"I love my boys for their pure sense of mayhem."

(You mean it is not normal for three 2 year olds to run around the house, taking off their clothes, while eating a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread that they found on the counter, by moving the bench from the kitchen table over to the sink! In the 3 minutes it took me to take out the trash?!? Oh and did I forget to mention that they got into the kitchen, from the gated family room, by standing on a play bus that allowed them to scale the knee wall.)

Thank you Jacquelyn Mitchard for giving me a sense of normalcy! I will keep in mind the comment about window screens being used as front doors for the next 10 years!!

Parker, Preston and Peyton are already a force to be reckoned with - but these are also the boys that will allow their big sister to dress them up like princesses and gymnasts (Preston looked like the strong man in the circus!)! This is also the force that will go into her room every morning to wake her up - Preston will snuggle under the covers, Parker will jump on the bed and Peyton will tap her on the head, if it is already not under the covers!! They may not always be friends, but I know deep down that they will always love each other. (Sound familiar Uncle Dan!)

May 20, 2008

Big Boy Beds

OK, so last Thursday evening, Preston - my little sweetheart, got out of his crib no less than 10 times after I put him to bed. This was not the way I wanted to end my evening, needless to say! So Friday evening we did it - everyone went into their Big Boy Bed!

However it was just not that simple. Friday evening, after everyone was put to bed, there was a small party going on in their room. When Jason went up to put everyone back to bed, it looked like a Winter Wonderland. They got into the dresser and emptied the entire container of baby powder all over their room! Peyton never messed with this, so it was either Parker or Preston. (My money is on Parker - he may look sweet and innocent, but trust me I know the truth!!)

So on Saturday we went into Ft. Knox mode....we put new safety locks on the bathroom and closet doors. A new gate that is secured into the wall is in the doorway. All clothing and other items aside from their sleep toys - Buzz Lightyear, books and blankies - went into the new closet organizers. The lamps got put on top of the bookshelf and...... they still figured out that if they pull out the bottom draw of the small dresser they can reach anything that may be on top of it.

So now there is nothing on top of any furniture that is less than 4 ft tall and all is getting to be well. Last night it only took 30 minutes for everyone to fall asleep and today nap time went much better!!! I think we are onto something here.........Lets Keep Our Fingers Crossed!!!

May 11, 2008

Mothers Day 2008 (Daddy Rocks!)

This year I was asked "As a MOM of multiples plus one - what would you like for Mothers Day?"

My honest answer was "A day of peace and quiet, with my family, where I did not have to wake up early to make breakfast, someone would make it for me. I would not have to worry about diaper changes and getting everyone dressed. I would not have to fuss over putting in a ponytail and I would not have to worry about lunch or dinner. The day would be planned and I could just enjoy it!"
So here is how it went -
I woke up on my own schedule in a nice comfy bed, by myself, and I didn't even have to make it. I got to get myself and only myself ready for the day. I got to go eat breakfast someone else cooked and not have to worry about doing the dished afterwards. I got to come home to everyone bathed and dressed for the day, ponytail included. I got to have a nice lunch with the family before the triplets took their nap (Helena even had a quiet time) and even got to nap myself for an hour. (Jason and I crashed on the couch watching TV). I got to go out to dinner, no planning and no cleanup for me and best of all I got to spend it with my family!!!
This year my Mothers Day wish really did come true!! Not to mention I got the most awesome gift ever - the grandmoms and GG got a smaller version as well and Jason did these all on his own, with help from Helena, while I was at the concert yesterday......the picture is on a canvas.
Daddy Rocks!! Just one of the many reasons I love him!!

Are you a Poet or Pirate?

Webster says a poet is a person of great imagination and expressive capabilities and a pirate is one who carries out the act of robbery on the high seas.

I think at times I can qualify as both, although my "high seas" is really our house! I can be an imaginative MOM of 4 (try keeping them entertained) who "steals" kisses and hugs on a daily basis all for pure enjoyment - what better "booty" could you ask for! Then when Daddy comes home - I can steal a few from him while trying to use my "expressive" capabilities to come up with a dinner all 6 of us will enjoy!

But what leads me to this question you may ask??? The FUN I had yesterday at the Kenny Chesney - Poets and Pirates Concert at M & T Bank Stadium!!

I know, not all of you know about my fixation with Country music - I love it because I think it is real. The country of today is not our parents country, it is not all "twang and banjos" - some songs sound just like my life, or a small part of the past (but that's another entry entirely!!)

So yesterday Big Denise, my Mom and Dad, Brother and Melissa, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Chuck, Chuckie and Ashlee went to the concert. BD and I headed downtown around 10:30 to check in at the Hotel (that's right our husbands rock!). After checking in and getting freshened up we headed to Pickles Pub to check out the mechanical bull riding (ha ha) and other events going on. Outside of the stadium they had some local bands playing, another mechanical bull and some give-aways.

Around 2:30 we headed in to find our seats, grab a "drink" and begin our day. The lineup hosted some of my faves -Big and Rich, Brooks and Dunn, ending of course with Kenny Chesney who took the stage around 9:00. I have to say we sang and danced our way through the day and night. By the time the concert was over I was voiceless. When we got back to our room, we crashed at midnight. We had every intention of going back to Pickles to check out the fun, but the reality of getting up at 6:30 that morning hit us like a brick! We just can't hang like we used to!! When I woke up this morning in that soft, down covered bed, all by myself, with no cooking to do, or diapers to change or someone asking me to put on the Disney Channel - it was nice, but honestly tooo quiet.

Thanks Big D for a full day of fun and excitement, just like we used to have back when we met 20 years ago!!

May 9, 2008

Were Off To See The.......Dinosaurs

On Monday Helena's Pre-K class had their last field trip of the year. We went to the Museum of Natural History in Wilmington, DE. The museum was not very big, but had all of the important things one needs to learn about Dinosaurs. Helena's favorite is the Stegosaurus (you know the one with the plates down its back and spikes on its tail) and lucky for us they have one in residence!

The guide did a really nice job of talking to the kids on their level and showing them just enough to keep their minds on the topic at hand. It was also nice to see how many parents participated in the day. After our tour we had a picnic lunch before heading to the Park for some playtime.

Helena really wanted her picture taken with the beetle, little did she realize it is a dung beetle and the big ball behind it is supposed to be poo!

May 8, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Parker, Preston and Peyton

Saturday, May 3, 2008 - Parker, Preston and Peyton offically became 2 big years old. Looking back at their 1st Birthday pictures it is hard for me to believe how much they have grown. Last year at this time they were barely walking, now I can barely catch them when they run around the yard. They keep me busy - no doubt about that - but I would not trade any day (good or bad) for the world. Each day with them proves to be a new experience in learning, patience and laughter. I get to watch them grow into little men and be surprised each day.
Every morning when they wake up, the first thing they do is go into Helena's room and wake her up. She, like her mother (and Godmother), is not a morning person, but she gladly shares the covers with Preston, Parker ususally jumps on the bed and Peyton pats her on the head to wake her up. This is the beginning of our morning ritual......and to be honest I don't think she would change it for all of the Barbie clothes in Toys'R'Us!

This year we chose to do a Backyardigans Theme - the boys love to sing and dance with Pablo, Uniqua, Tasha, Tyrone and Austin. (Could someone tell me what Uniqua is???) They received some really great presents from our family and friends - a new wardrobe for summer, a drumb set (thanks to Godmother Kristen), a Mickey Mouse table, an alphabet train (that Helena loves), talking cars, Disney pj's, a water table, toys and a nice contribution to their college fund!

Helena got each brother a new board book and decorated each bag all by herself. Mommy and Daddy - we had fun - we got the boys a John Deere Loader, Gator and Tractor with a pull behind cart. They are all battery powered so they can ride around the yard.

The day proved to be a great one - the boys had fun, the food was good and we got to celebrate with family and friends.
We got a really nice surprise in the late after noon - Mr. Louie who is in the States for training came to visit us before he headed back to Malaysia. We will not get to see him when we are in Alaska visiting Ms. Pam and the kids this summer, he arrives almost 2 weeks after we leave.

Picture Updates

For my birthday (Feb.) I got a new camera and yesterday I finally downloaded the 300 pictures on it! Here are some of my faves from the last few months.....

Looking at the train arriving at Strausburg Railroad Station
Ballet Class Visitation
Marty's Playland
In OC!!

May 1, 2008

Getting Ready

As I am running around the house yesterday and today to start preparing for the party on Saturday, I keep trying to get a grasp on the situation...

Parker, Preston and Peyton will be 2 on Saturday!!! Who told these little guys it was ok to grow up soooooo fast???

Yesterday the 3 of them moved an end table to the knee wall, scaled over it, into the highchairs and down the front so they could move the foot stool (I need it to reach the cabinets) to get to the bag of white cheddar popcorn sitting on the counter!!! As I walked in on this little maneuver I saw Parker reaching for the Popcorn, Peyton laying on top of the knee wall and Preston preparing to scale down the front of his highchair. I literally went in to put Helena's hair in a ponytail and brush our teeth....what are the next 18 years going to bring??? I can only imagine.......

April 27, 2008

Sunday Brunch

Success was ours for the taking!!!

Today was the "Tasting Brunch" and debut of the OMOS (Our Mother of Sorrows) 75th Anniversary Cookbook! Today was also my first official OMOS event, and can I tell you those ladies have it down. With the help of 70+ recipe contributors and our 14 person committee we had over 85 dishes for the parish to sample. Every one of them looked, smelled and tasted wonderful. We estimate over 300 people joined us for the event and we have sold over 200 books already!!

When the women of OMOS host a functions it is done to perfection. All of the napkins, tablecloths and paper goods match perfectly. There are silver candelabras, punch bowls and serving plates, with doilies, used to present the dishes. If not silver, glass or ceramic is used. Ms. Pat said "Why go through all of this trouble and have the presentation look cheap!" Each table had a fresh flower center piece and when the function is over, a family with several sons, appears like angels and takes down all of the tables and chairs (heavenly after 6 hours on your feet).

My favorite part of the day was having Helena there with us! She was so well behaved and such a good helper - several of the ladies even told her she did a great job and thanked her for sharing her Mommy with them! She helped put out place cards for the dishes, make labels with Ms. Louise and served up some punch. She also grazed her way through the day - ha ha ha.

I really enjoy my time with the women of OMOS - they are a hoot to say the least and teach me a thing or 2 every time we meet! ;)

April 24, 2008

Big Happenings Around the House

We have had several big happenings occur over the past week or so and all have been positive....

- I got to go to the Moms of Multiples Convention and had a great time
- When I got home everyone was well, including Jason - but I see a little more grey around his temples since I left :)
- While I was gone the shed fairy finally delivered, now we can get our garage back
- Grandmom Beverly and Pop George along with several other family members left for a cruise and it sounds like they are having a blast
- Helena got a great report at her conference on Monday - Mrs. Chance said she is well on her way to K!! Now we work on reading skills.....
- After several weeks of talking about it, our (me and Helena) trip to Alaska to visit Pam and the family in June came to fruition!! Jason booked our flights and such so we are Alaska bound right after Helena's Birthday (I know I owe him big time for this one!!!)
- The Church cookbooks are supposed to arrive tomorrow, which means we will have them for our tasting brunch on Sunday!! Yeah!!
- Jason has a new technique for cutting the grass, when in doubt - just hook up the cart to the tractor and pull the kids around with you!! Trust me, on the shore this is not a new idea!!
- Parker's Godfather - "Uncle" Willie - called this week and asked if he would be the ring bearer in his wedding this November. I told him, if he was willing to take the "risk" I would be right there with him....he said that he and Laurel were game - I said BRAVE!

All in all not a bad 2 weeks I must say!!

What Happens In Roanoke......

Stays in Roanoke!

I am not at liberty to confirm or deny if this pact was made, however......

Ladies I had a wonderful time!!!

Thanks to Jason and all of the other husbands/dads who very willingly sent us on our way for a weekend of fun, food, sleep (even in the middle of the day!!) and relaxation. I am looking forward to next years trip already - I think I still have some legwarmers if anyone needs an extra pair for 80's Night!

April 15, 2008

Chicken Poo??

Last night while I was reading and snuggled under some warm blankets in bed I heard the strangest thing come from Jason:

"Chicken s**t, Chicken s**t, I have never seen so much chicken s**t!"

Then he rolled over and said it again?!?! By now I am laughing, I couldn't stop! So I proceeded to wake him up, sleepily he told me I woke him up at the best part of the dream. We were getting ready to plant some peas in our garden and a farmer just dropped off some chicken poo for the fertilizer. The pile was as big as the house! (Now our garden is only 40' x 20' so that is a lot of poo)

I proceeded to tell him why I was laughing so much and he asked me if I actually heard him say it out loud our just in his dream?? OK. So this morning I called him at work to laugh about the event and he had no clue what I was talking about - ha ha ha....again I laughed so hard and so did he, he asked me if I was making this up??? I don't think I would have thought of this one on my own!!

April 11, 2008

The Fast and the Furious

Apparently that is me! On my way to the Benedictine School (a school for disabled and special kids that teaches them job skills) to pick up some aprons for the church cookbook tasting, I got pulled over by a State Trooper - all 4 kids in the car mind you. He politely told me I was doing 68 in a 50 and asked for the usual stuff. After several minutes of sitting in his black unmarked vehicle, on a not so major side road, he proceeded to give me a ticket. (so this is the fast)

Then he asked me if I have ever had a traffic violation - now I know he just looked at my record, so I proceeded to tell him that the last ticket I got was my freshman year of collage. His reply "Well that was a really long time ago!" OK, I am not that old, maybe I look older than 34, but hey give me a break! This whole time my little angels were being just that as well - no one let out a peep!!! Can you believe it, not even one. (this would be the furious) And to make matters worse, he told me I should go to court, because the judge is very lenient on new offenders like myself, so he would probably reduce the points (ugh!) and fine.

So I want to know - why did he give me the ticket if it will likely only cost me court fees??? Not to mention a day of work for Jason and a day at the courthouse for me!!!! Someone help me understand this craziness!!!

April 7, 2008

Pearly Whites x 4

Today was another big day in our house - Parker, Preston and Peyton had their first dental visit with Dr. Collins. (She is soooo fantastic!) Helena had a routine cleaning as well. She is the perfect role model for a dental patient - she goes in, picks out her movie, puts on her sunglasses and sit in the chair with her mouth wide open.....never flinches at all during her cleaning. She was given a big job today, she got to pick out everybodies toothbrush - big stuff!!

As always, Helena's cleaning was uneventful and she got 2 thumbs up from Dr. Collins - we (I) just have to work on flossing a bit better. Next came the boys, first we did pictures - they will mail them to us, then came Parker. Dr. Collins made mention that he sounded like an Opera singer when he screamed - Daddy and Uncle Dan, you need to work on this!! Preston was not quite as fussy and Peyton was holding me so tight around the neck we had to pry him off. Luckily everyone looks good, but we have to give up some of our favorite snacks (raisins, craisins, dries fruit snacks, chewy granola bars and juice, which I always water down anyway) because it looks like they have weak enamel - most likely due to being multiples.....This also means - I have to floss them 2x per day. This should be a fun challenge, no???? I will let you know how many fingers I loose!!

But I really can't complain - 4 thumbs up and no visit for 6 months - I'll take it!!

April 3, 2008

Nice Treat!

Tonight I had a board meeting for the MOMS club, one of the few nights a month I get to myself and the best part of this night out was actually 2 things:

1) Whenever I have a meeting, weather it be for the MOMS club or church, Jason always makes sure he works his schedule so that he is home on time for me to leave......
2) Tonight when I came home, all of the toys were picked up, all children bathed and the kitchen was put back in order!!!! What a nice start to tomorrow.....Thanks Honey!!

April 1, 2008

Question of the Day

While preparing dinner...
"What have you done around here today?"

(Now my day suddenly went down hill)
- got up made breakfast
- changed diapers, got boy dressed, fed everyone breakfast
- unloaded dishwasher and washed crock pot that was soaking
- did a load of laundry, folded load in dryer
- made beds
- played with kids
- called in Scholastic Book order for Ms. Chance
- got Helena ready for school, did handwriting homework, put milk money in bag, approved homework
- made lunch for kids, fed kids, brushed boys teeth, changed diapers
- got dressed, combed hair
- put boys down for nap
- brushed teeth with Helena and waited for the bus
- got Helena on bus, did 2 more loads of laundry, folded
- did some paperwork/made a few calls for Church cookbook
- called shed company about delivery, called to make Drs appt.
- organized some things for Parker, Preston and Peyton's Birthday
- organized some things for Helena's Birthday
- made some phone calls (Room Store about sofa cleaning, Davey Tree about next turf application, Benedictine school about order, etc.)
- ate lunch (2:30)
- did another load of laundry
- when Helena got off of the bus took everyone to Atlantic Tractor, looked at potential birthday presents for triplets (battery powered tractor and backhoe)
- came home and played outside for 1.5 hrs
- came in, got dinner ready, sat down to eat and then

During dinner -
"It is going to rain, so make sure you go outside and put all of the kids toys away."
My Response: "Why do you have to be so rude, why can't we just do it together?"
"I am not the one that got them all out."

After cleaning up kitchen from dinner, putting away indoor and outdoor toys and getting in a pi**ing match over what I did today- I went to get diapers...
"Can you pick me up a snack for later?"

March 30, 2008

Some Mommy and Me Time

I have to say that everyday Helena amazes me with something - weather it be a new word used correctly, a new song or dance learned in school, or sometimes the sassyness just floors me!!! But tonight as I am checking e-mails, catching up on blogs, and doing some last minute cookbook things, she is drawing on her easel next to me.

She told me she had some work to do, so she would do it in here with me - the part of this that I love the most is the pictures she is drawing - a hoarse, a girl in a dress, a butterfly - and all of them are clearly what they are supposed to be!! No more guessing what the array of circles and lines are - she is doing really well!!! Now this is not the first time she has done this, she is 4.5, however looking at Parker, Preston and Peyton's current artwork I remember the drawings of the past!!!

For those of you who have never been through the "Look at my drawing! Guess what it is!" game - one day you will understand. Your little one or ones will walk up to you with their shoulders back, chin held high, looking like they just conquered the world and will ask the above mentioned questions. When you reply with the wrong answer, usually several times in a row before being told in a not-so-nice tone what it really is - you will live for the day the lines and circles represent a true picture and the side of your brain that tries to decipher the abstract art will be able to rest!

However when you look back - these are one of the things you will miss and realize that the true life drawings also mean your little girl is growing up - faster and faster than you can sometimes imagine!

Rite of Passage - Helena

This weekend was a big one for Helena - she went to her very first sleepover party! It was for her cousin Victoria who turned 6. Aunt Melissa and I took 5 little ladies to see Alvin and the Chipmunks in the afternoon, then there was pizza, cake and ice-cream, pillow case decorating and some games! I think the girls finally went down around 10:00 (according to Aunt Melissa, I left after the movie and got to sleep in my own bed without one little Miss crawling in during the night!!!)

March 26, 2008

Only On the Eastern Shore

.....can your wife call you at work (plowing the field in your John Deere) and remind you via cell phone to stop and get milk on your way home from work. Since you are passing the Food Lion on your way back to the house, you just swing the old JD in and park it in the back of the lot!!!

The kids were fascinated when we went to get a few items from Food Lion yesterday and when we pulled in, there it was parked in the parking lot. Helena was ready to take a ride!

March 18, 2008

I felt just like Norm on Cheers!

This past Sunday morning, after I made homemade spaghetti sauce and put it in the crock pot, I ended up in the ER. After making the sauce I lazily put the tomato cans in the trash instead of recycle and ended up slicing my middle finger on my right hand - so Chester River here I come!! When I walked in for triage the nurse said to me "You look familiar, you've been here before haven't you?"

My response - "Yes, in August for a 2 night stay with 2 of the triplets, November for an URI with Parker, January for stitches for Helena, February for an URI with Preston and March here I am!" I am checking into the frequent flyer plan at this point or just opening up my own Nighttime Pediatrics!!

Only on the Eastern Shore...

... can you be late for a meeting because there were 10 (yes I counted them while waiting 5 minutes) turkeys in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Who knew it was mating season??? Apparently everyone but me. And can I tell you, I think one of them told me off when I tapped my horn to get them to move.

March 12, 2008

Who Defines Work?

What exactly does it mean when someone (total stranger) sees you with your 4 kids (under 5) and asks you "Do you work?" or says "You don't work, do you?"!?!?!? UMMMM...what exactly do you define as work? Do I leave the house everyday and get in my minivan to go to an office and get a paycheck at the end of the week? NO! Do I get up everyday and clock in as soon as somebody wakes up? YES! Do I get a good breakfast on the table, everyone dressed, Helena ready for school, homework done, playtime in, lunch on the table by 11:00 before the bus at noon, triplets down for nap, laundry done and folded, dinner started, snack after nap, playtime in/songs and music, make necessary calls and appointments, etc., etc., etc. done - YES - I do WORK - (the nanny has the day off)!!!

Do they really want me to go into my mantra of the top 10 things not to say to a Stay at Home Mom of 4? If people would just think about what they say we (stay at home MoMS) would not have the following list!!!

My favorites, in no particular order:

- Are they all yours? (No picked one up in the produce department, buy 3 get 1 free!)
- Did you use fertility? (And do I know you?)
- Was it expensive? (Again, do I know you?)
- Are they triplets? (No, I just got a deal on the same outfit, so I went with it!)
- Do you work? (Don't even get me started!!!)
- Better you than me (apparently God thought so too!)
- How do you do it, I can barely handle 1! (New Mom, so I give her some slack!)
- How do you afford it? ( Once Again, Do I know you?)
- You must have been huge - (looking at my belly the entire sentence!)
- You poor thing, I feel sorry for you? (What, What did you just say to me? I am blessed with
4 children - and one angel! Thank you very much!)

OK - now I feel better!! Venting is good!!!

March 11, 2008

Save the Date

Just a reminder to everyone to save the date - April 5, 2008 from 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12 the Discovery Health Channel will be airing Baby Madness! Keep a look out for my little Stars! I cannot wait to see which home video they will be using......

Rite of Passage - Peyton

This weekend brought on yet another "big boy" moment in our house.

Saturday night we moved our clocks forward before bed, so when I heard Preston scream at 6:30 am I almost forgot that my body was working on 5:30 am instead. It was not the usual, "I am up come get me" yell, it sounded like something was wrong. As I opened the door to their room, Preston had gone back under his blanket, but Parker was staring me in the face. So Parker and I went down to get some milk for everyone and my goal was to put everyone, including me, back to bed!

As Parker and I are walking down the hall to their room, Peyton passes me in the hallway!!! My first reaction was - " What the @#$%, I am not seeing this!?!?"....but I was. So now we know Peyton can escape at will from the crib.

Friday night I was just saying to the girls that we are pretty lucky and no one has ever tried to climb out of their crib, including Helena. Yes, I spoke tooooo soon. So now Jason and I had the great debate and we decided to convert his bed to a toddler bed with a side. Off to Babies "R" Us we go, because I did not buy any bed sides at the yard sale on Saturday.

So now we have Peyton in a toddler bed, a special lock on the boys bathroom door and yet one more security measure on the toilet itself in the event he makes it in the bathroom. There is a gate at the door to their room and one more in the hallway! So far so good, 2 days in a row Peyton had been in his bed when I go to bed and has been there when I woke up - I have heard little footsteps during the night only once, so not bad! We will see what the rest of the week brings!!!

March 3, 2008

Blogging Slacker....That's Me!!

Yes, I know I have been slacking on the family updates, so here is a quick recap of the last few weeks and I will be caught up with you all so we can start new with the fun stuff.....

Feb 14th - Valentines Day - We had a really nice family dinner and exchanged Valentines after having homemade cheesecake for dessert.

Feb 15th - Get call from MIL that she is really sick (actually had The FLU), need to find backup sitter for date night tomorrow. Luckily Big Denise is the epitome of a Big Sister and saves the date night.

Feb 16th - Go to see Larry the Cable Guy with cousins Molly, Brian, Walt and Melissa. Had a blast and laughed my A** off - he is a total nut and I cannot go to WalMart without laughing the entire trip. Go have dinner (and a glass of wine) afterwards. Get home around 11:00 p.m. - Preston is up with breathing issues. So glad I had the wine!!

Feb 17th - 12:30 am arrive at ER, 4:30 am leave ER, 5:00 am go to bed. Neb, neb, neb and neb a little more. Parker was feeling left out, so he joined in the fun as well. Neb every 3 hours throughout the night.

Feb 18th - My Birthday - Need to cancel drywall repairs first thing in the morning and hopefully can reschedule ASAP! Arrive at Dr.'s office with 4 kids at 11:45 am for an appt. they squeezed me in for. 12:45 finally see Dr. K after going through all of my snacks and juice that I have brought. Usually nap time begins at 12 noon.....need I say more. By the end of the appt. I am in tears and we leave at 1:30pm after I ask Dr. K if he will ever let me back in the office again!!

MOMs club party that night - everyone was so sweet and thank you again for the cards and presents, it was really sweet of all of you!!

Feb 19th - After having a really bad weekend and basically crappy birthday day, husband has to go to bb game with clients from work. I now look like football player with black smudges under my eyes because of the pretty dark circles. 6:30 pm I find some copies of recipes for church cookbook and need to run them to meeting I am missing due to bb game....Helena told everyone she got to go to a meeting with me and meet all of the Ladies - she liked out little adventure! (not to mention the box of Munchkins she was bribed with- not one of my better parenting moments!!!)

Feb 20th - Jason brings home a cake and I finally get to open my presents from him and the kids - notice date....He got me a great new camera, a cake from Girards (awesome French Bakery) and a new CD from the kids.

Feb 24th - Day trip to OC. Had alot of fun - lunch at Dough Roller - a couple games of ski-ball at Marty's (pictures of the kids coming soon - still learning to use new camera)- a trip to see the ponies - topped off with a Root Beer Float from Dumsers....not a bad day!!

Feb 25-26th - Drywall work is done, painters scheduled for Saturday - YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 11, 2008

Rite of Passage - Preston

This weekend we witnessed another "grown up" moment from Preston - he walks up the stairs!! That is right, he holds onto the wall and walks up - just like a big boy! I can't even believe it - they are growing up so fast.

February 2, 2008

Cookbook Anyone?

As many of you may know, I have been on the Our Mother of Sorrows 75 Anniversary Cookbook Committee for several months now. I thought this would be a good way to have some Mommy time and get to know some people in the community. We are fastly approaching crunch time and the deadline to get the final draft to the publisher! It never ceases to amaze me how people in a community - any community - can rally around a cause and pull it off 200%. The books will arrive right before Mothers Day - guess what everyone is getting ????

Yes that is right 200%. We had a goal of 300 recipes in mind for the final draft, today we are looking at close to 600!! I still can't believe it. The recipes range from semi-homade to gourmet (we have several professional chefs in the parish!) Emeril and Rachel Ray have nothing on us!!! I am lucky enough to have 12 recipes in the book, some are my own and some were passed down from my Mom and Nonnie. I mean really, were can you buy a great cookbook with 600 recipes in it for $20.00. If anyone would like to pre-order one, no money needed, just let me know.

I am the youngest member of the committee and I have to say these ladies have taught me a lot! Not just about a good group of women (and Ken) who pulled together to make this happen, but about the church and the history it has in the area. The current church (building) is going to be 75 years old, however the parish is over 100. Several of the ladies were born and raised here, as were their is truly amazing to hear how the town and parish has grown. Tuesday is the annual Pancake Supper and we are really looking forward to going.

Growing up, I went to St. Clare Catholic School from 1st to 8th grade. We had 20 kids in my class and we grew up like brothers and sisters. Not everyone got along all of the time, but what family does? Today I still keep in touch with Becky - we met in the 3rd grade - and trust me, over the past 27 years we have had some fun - you know what they say about those Catholic School Girls)!! She and I ended up going to the same high school, being in each others weddings, seeing babies born, kids growing up and having to say goodbye to loved ones as well.

This is what I hope my kids will be able to say when they are getting ready to turn 34.

Just one more reason I love my small town! (Don't get me wrong, I am envious of anyone who has a coffee shop that stays open past 5:00 p.m.)

Why I Love Mayberry!!

My brother often jokes with me that I live in Mayberry and actually, Church Hill/Sudlersville is a lot like it.

Where else would you find a sign that looks like this to announce a fall wedding!

And where else would you find Cedar Run Farm. Lew Dodd grew up on the farm and now raises the cattle and hog just like his father did when he was a little boy. All you have to do to get farm raised, hormone and antibiotic free meat is drive up his driveway and meet him at the barn. That is his "store" where you can get a variety of frozen meats at a really great price. All less than 5 minutes from your own driveway. Plus is your order is more than $75.00 he delivers. Can I just tell you - his scrapple is the best around!!

When my neighbors car broke down, the lady from Jeannies Shore Good Produce (the local produce market where you can get a great chicken salad sandwich and milkshake, not to mention some fishing/hunting gear and the best corn around while waiting for your order), took her kids to school for her while she waited for the tow truck!

When I need an oil change, Dave from Rolands Garage on the corner, will come to my house - pick up my van - do the oil change ($25.00) - and return it to my garage within a few hours - so I don't have to worry about taking the kids out. I think they do it because there is always a batch of homemade cookies waiting for them when they bring the van back - ha ha ha!!

When Helena needed stitches because of the previously mentioned post, Mrs. Pauls, the principal, went to the hospital with us. (because Helena asked her to!)

Helena's bus driver Mr. Embert has a grand-daughter (Abby) that played on her soccer team and his daughter (Melissa, Abby's mom) was one of the nurses that took care of the boys when they were in the hospital last August.

Small town America - many, many people still ask us why we moved out to the "country" - these are just a few of the reasons......and let's not forget - at night when you look into the sky, you can see every star in it!!!

January 22, 2008

Rite of Passage

This past Saturday, Jason, me and the triplets took a ride to OC. Helena was going to the movies with my Mother in Law, so instead of sitting home we decided to take a ride to the beach. When we arrived everyone was very hungry, so we headed to Dough Roller- why do we love their pizza so much??. Pizza is a favorite among the boys, so we knew we would be golden.

We ordered some french fries for them to munch on, when Parker started to get fussy Jason dipped a ff into some ketchup. It was down hill from there....the boys have become official dippers. They loved it and actually did a pretty good job of not getting it everywhere. They were so funny at first, dipping, licking it off of the ff, dipping again, licking it off of the ff, then taking a bite. It was if they found their new best friend......

I guess they will take after Helena, the dipping Queen!!

January 17, 2008

Love Hurts....Rocky!

My daily routine includes snack for the boys at 3:30 p.m. This way they are in their highchairs occupied while I get dinner prepped and/or started depending on what we are going to have and soon after Helena's bus will arrive. Knowing they are contained I will run out to meet her.

Tuesday at 3:45 the phone rings and it is school. They have her there because there was an accident on the bus and she was hurt, I need to come pick her up!! Luckily Robin was available to sit with the boys and I ran to school.

Bless her heart, she was in the nurses office with 2 butterfly bandages over her left eye! She was very upset of course, but very brave!! My next question - How did this happen??? Apparently, she hugged a little boy in K "goodbye" and told him she loved a result, he pushed her in the back and she fell into the bus window!

By the time we got cleaned up and began to head to the hospital, his dad brought him backup to see me and Helena! His parents could not have handled the situation any better - they were great. The little boy apologized and Helena, on her own, accepted his apology. His dad gave me their information to call after our trip to the ER to let them know how she was doing.

So off we go, with Mrs. Pauls (her principal) in tow! She is the best, she offered to ride with us and sit in the back with Helena. Helena graciously accepted the offer and off we went. Two hours, 3 stitches and 1 black eye later we were dropping Mrs. Pauls back to school and headed home!! Helena was so brave, even during the stitching - don't get me wrong there were tears, but afterwards the cherry Popsicle from the nurse made it all better.

Yesterday I told her she did not have to go to school, but she said she was fine! That is my girl, she is over it and moved on! Later last night, she even went to ballet class and had a great time. Today her eye is still purple and a little swollen, but she is definitely back to her old sassy self!!

I told her that she might not want to hug any more boys for a while!!

This Is How I Found My Husband....

...while he was supposed to be folding clothes last weekend. Although he claims that he had just closed his eyes, there is evidence of some very loud zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... going on!! Notice how the clothes are bunched up to make a nice pillow.

Don't get we wrong, he is very good about doing chores around the house, everyone that personally knows him will say he gets OCD at times.....however, I am accused of taking a 3 hour nap every day of his work week, but here is my evidence of him napping while during chores on the weekend. Ha Ha Ha

January 14, 2008

Another 15 Minutes of Fame....

Several months ago I got an e-mail about a "talent search" for multiples. The Discovery Channel is doing another installment of the show Multiple Madness! So just for fun, I sent in the picture of the boys on the John Deere and some information about our family.

Saturday night we got the call!!! Parker, Preston and Peyton have been chosen to be part of the program. What does this mean exactly - I am not really sure....more information is yet to come!! The shoot will be done at Howard University at the end of next week, so we need to see which day our time slot is..... We could be given 30 seconds of the show, but you know what - I still think that is pretty cool! I was told that the producers are going to interview the parents as well, so now I need to get rid of these roots and get a haircut--ha ha ha.....

So, I guess we are lucky enough to get another 15 minutes of fame........

January 5, 2008

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things.....

Julie Andrews - who does not love The Sound of Music! She was my inspiration for this post...

These are a few of my favorite things...(no particular order)

*Helena helping me in the kitchen
*Watching Parker, Preston and Peyton get into mischief, then smile like they do not know who knocked over the dogs water bowl!!
*A bubble bath -by myself!
*A glass of red wine and a Nora Roberts book
*Listening to Rascal Flatts - "Me and My Gang" - with my gang in the van
*Family time at Christmas, our Open House was a lot of fun with 3 generations present!
*Finding out that my Mom and her cousins was not quite a total angels growing up...Ha Ha Uncle Walt and Aunt Bernadette ....Ha Ha... I guess that goes with learning family history??
*Preston rubbing noses.
*Peyton walking around looking like Linus with his thumb in mouth and blanket in tow at bedtime.
*Parker giving that smile - the one that says I just threw the ball, but look how cute I am!!
*Watching my brother be a DAD
*Finding out Molly and Melissa are pregnant!!! Yeah - more cousins.....
*School going back in session
*Having friends that are always there when you need them...Big Denise you are the best!
*Being privileged enough to know the MOMs and what a great group of women they are.
*Being able to chat with Pam, half way around the world - how cool is that!
*Tinker Bell and her sassyness
*Starting a brand new year of life!

Enjoy! And when ever you are feeling sad, simply remember your favorite helps me remember that life is really not that bad!

January 3, 2008

Catching My Breath

Wow! What a crazy couple of weeks....I am really behind on my blogging and have a lot to catch up on, plus I was/am having some camera issues, but here is a quick recap of the holidays....

December 22 - Lunch with my father-in laws family at my in-laws house

December 22 - Dinner with my mother-in laws family at my in-laws house. This is a yearly event in which the Man in Red makes an appearance and each person at the party gets a special present from him. The kids always seem to get a "toy". I think Aunt Carol give Santa a special list so he knows exactly what to bring!!! Then we play the gift exchange game, this year Jason won a Dunkin Donuts gc and I got a Santa for the table (look for it at next years game everyone!)

December 23 - Early dinner with Aunt Sharon and family. This was a good time. Within the first 5 minutes of us arriving their dog Jack knocked Helena into the Christmas tree and my niece Emily and Preston break a glass votive while Peyton keeps touching every button on their new TV. I am not sure if we will be invited back next year or not!! Ha Ha Ha......She and Uncle Chuck loved every minute of it!!!

December 24 - Christmas Eve - This year we had an early dinner at my in-laws house and everyone exchanged gifts. The kids had a really good time. Helena would only let GG help her open the presents and the triplets figured out that Pop Stanley was good at helping new trucks escape from their box!! Everyone got some really nice things and had fun opening presents.

December 25 - Christmas Day - This year was a big one for Helena. She has been asking Santa for a Purple Bike with a Purple Helmet for 2 months and can you believe it - that is exactly what she got!!! She must have been a really good girl for him to fill the request perfectly. When she was coming down the steps she stopped halfway down and just stared in AWE! Parker, Preston and Peyton must have been really good too because they got a really cool play center that looks like a bus! It is bigger than my chair in the living room. Santa's elves must have had a good time putting that together - ha ha ha!

Daddy got a new tool chest for the garage and a Corn Hold game for the yard thanks to Mr. Daniel at his office for building them! Mommy got a double grill pan and hot chocolate from her favorite store - William Sonoma and some new crocs with sheerling lining.

Later, everyone came to our house for an early dinner. This year I took on the Christmas Day tradition. When my Mom was growing up, her Mom always had dinner on Christmas Day, until my parents had me ( I am the oldest grandchild of 5), then it was passed on to my Mom. Now I have taken the reins and really had fun preparing everything. As always, I did not do it alone, everyone participated in the day!

December 29 - Open House for the Extended Family. More to come Helena just woke up - Bad Dream! I guess we will be having a "Slumber Party" in her room tonight!