Our family

Our family

Monday, December 8, 2008

Deck the Halls or just Deck Santa



So we have decked the halls in no small way. We have even baked those damn sugar cookies and let the 5 kids have at them with 4 different colored icings, chocolate chips, jelly beans and sprinkles. We took a harrowing trip to the city to freeze our petunias off and get our annual Christmas shot, as well as open the advent calendar doors everyday. Yet my kids who seem to be full of festive frenzy seem to go back and forth between complete obliviousness as to what the fuss is about and a remarkable terrible attitude toward the holiday.

Me "Cara what are we doing today"
Cara 'cleaning" as I pan a living room full of boxes, and a floor full of ribbons, and garland.
Me "no. What are we getting ready for?"
Cara " Halloween!!!"
Let me try a different kid. "Mikey who is coming to our house?"
Mikey " Bethanie?"
Me "mo."
Mikey "ohh Sara and her friends!"
Me to myself yes that is why we are decking the damn halls for your cousin!

Me " Mark is Santa coming to our house soon"
Mark " I don't like Santa I will punch him in the face!"
Me "but he will bring you presents!"
Mark " I don't want presents"
Mikey " I want seaweed"
Chris " there is no Santa it is your mom and dad Ha ha ha ha haha!"
Matthew " I am getting a lump of coal right mom?"

Oh my.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

We Made it!





Yes we made it. And Chris walked up to the podium. He stepped up onto the stool provided for him. With a strong voice he read the words, certainly the youngest reader chosen. His voice filled that church and the woman next to me said 'oh that boy is so cute!" and I said "he is my son!"
A Great night!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh tanembaum

"So did they tell you anything about the tree lighting ceremony at choir practice yesterday?"
"no." Two innocent and exhausted faces answer back.
"nothing?"
A non-committal shrug.
However this morning was a new story. "we can't wear jeans, only red or grean colors, we have to be there at 5Pm or 7 or something. We are going to be marching with candles and lighting a big tree outside" As they run around happy to be a part of anything Christmas related at this point.
"oh yea I remember something about marching with candles on Hillside Ave" Steve very unhelpfully puts in.
You remember something, isn't this your religion? Your boyhood church? How come I am the one running in circles to get all of the kids prepared and on time?
Okay, so I have 6 clients to see today, and work issues to work out. But all of my kids will be there dressed in red or green at 5 or 7PM and we will rock that Church ceremony tonight!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

4 days off!

The day after thanksgiving, we were actually thanked with kids that slept until 7:09AM.,wow. I guess the festivities on thanksgiving worn them out. They certainly did me and my MIL and SIL did all the work! Thanks to them, should they read this.

The thing about the early wake up is that as Rush would put it the kids all "get on with the friction of the day" without preamble. We are emoting, competing, eating, playing and endlessly competing from the go. No coffee or sun salutations to get rolling just GO!

There are the days when wake up time is pushed back to 6AM and I go down all serious, and tell the babies, back to bed. And off they go, giggles into bed, where they wait patently for 3 minutes and then begin the chatter. On the plus side it usually takes them 15 minutes to get up the nerve to broach the living room again.

Intelligently enough we pile them in the car and take them to black Friday. Yes. shopping at the mall. They astound everyone, by there sheer number. I was overtaken by the urge to by Cara every piece of clothing I could find. Oh the sales, oh the cute clothes for Cara. How I was so done with her old stuff. The odd thing is that it made me as happy to buy her this stuff then if I had shopped for myself. Between me and Nonni this girl is fly. Do they still say that? fly? I will have to ask the cool people who are still willing to acknowledge me or feel compelled to due to blood relationships and all.

We ate in the food court we visited the bathrooms 4 times, beating any pregnancy records. This is when I miss diapers.

Now the kids sit decked out in beautiful new Pj's and slippers, new haircuts for the younger boys and let's face it they look fabulous. Cara made out with 2 Christams dresses. The boys also got something to wear on Christmas, I mean after all if they were naked they would probably steal the show from Cara.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Funny days.

It is 9:30 in the morning and we have already baked a batch of cookies! And these aren't any old cookies they are apple oatmeal cookies, why is that so hot? Because they are healthy and the kids ATE THEM! Full of fiber and vitamins oh what a day, what a day.
What made us laugh this week?
Mikey coming up to me crying "my feelings are hurt."
"who hurt them?" I ask, all motherly concern.
"I did." He replies solemnly.
"baby you hurt your own feelings?"
"yeah" he says tears still glistening in his eyes.
We need to speak to him about that negative self-talk, it is not okay! But still who will be going to time-out?
"what is sexy?" I hear Matthew ask from the back of the car. I dutifully ignore him, like the modern, enlightened parent I am.
Chris says "it means like fashion."
"no I think it means cool" Matthew responds
"I think it means fashion and cool" Chris replies
Finally I jump in with " why do you ask about the word sexy?"
'because that is what Sophie called me." Chris said.
"oh when you ran out of the bathroom after your shower?"
"yeah."

Observing Chris in Yoga...yes Chris takes yoga and will be taking Chess come December, he is so cool and confident!
Teacher "what did you do yesterday Chris?"
'we went to the fancy restaurant with all of my babies. We saw my sister, cousin, I mean.....Bethanie and Pete there. We ate pizza and had Ice cream. Bethanie has a boyfriend. She doesn't kiss him, or I never saw her kiss him."
The teacher has long lost interest! I love hearing their interpretations of the family events!

Monday, October 27, 2008

What a weekend!





Wow, what a weekend! First up, Friday night, with a drive by on a house decorated to the hilt, with music and matching light show to boot. Mark was not down with it at all, and he has made it clear many times before that we should never,ever leave the house after dark. According to him there are foxes, bears, witches and dinosaurs out after the sun sets. This outing only confirmed his beliefs. In fact on a recent trip to Bear mountain he said, he would only fight baby bears, that daddy bears were for me and Steve to fight.
After the light show we went home to carve up our own pumpkin. Last year Steve was came up with the great idea of using power tools to carve the pumpkins. The kids had 2 choices happy or scared. I don't mean with their behavior but with the pumpkin expressions. This year he opted for a very fancy design kit. I will feature this pumpkin in our Halloween spooktacular posting.

Sat. was Mikie's and Cara's dance recital. They make quite a todo about it, and though neither seem to be aware that they are supposed to do anything but stand in front of the crowd and smile (at least Cara) or not (like Mikie). In fact Mikie is only up there in front of the crowd based on some vague notion that I will give him chocolate when it is over. They don't actually do any dancing at all, but damn they are the cutest kids in the class. Cara totally looks the part, but she knows one move and she just busts it out randomly. So while everyone else from the class is clumsily moving about Cara stares at the crowd and smiles and busts a move from time to time unrelated to the rest of the class and Mikie scowls at the crowd, waiting to be released.
Well after the congratulations and treats are handed out we head home. To do what? to pimp out our little tykes kitchen. We were given this kitchen a few years ago by my sister, she had rescued it from a neighbors garbage (once a Kissinger, always a Kissinger). We spend the morning painting it up black, green and yellow, and then applied pirate stickers! Now it is a kitchen representing the majority of budding chefs in my house.
Steve then left for Boston.
Ah but our fun was not done. That night was a party. A Halloween party! From 7-10. Now as many of you know my kids are all asleep by 8 on any given night. But not this night. They donned their costumes: five brave Rangers: Pink, green, white, and 2 reds and we were off. It was a church basement party with a BYOB clause for the gownups! And party we did! There was dancing and mummy contests, candy and junk food to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. We headed home in the pitch dark and in the rain I had to carry 3 kids up to their beds from the car!
But we were not done yet. The next day was the Halloween festival. So after a breakfast of half raw pancakes we were back into costumes for a day of partying! With bouncy houses, popcorn, candied apples, hay rides and carnival games. Only once were 2 of my kids announced as missing their parents. I am sure that the good natured DJ was surprised that I was not relieved but irritated at Matt and Chris for reporting me MIA after all they are 6, I can't be keeping track of them all day, they should be keeping track of me! Ah those poor boys.
We left and got pizza momma also got laryngitis! 4 more days until Steve returns, I hope we can limp through to the bitter end!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

my head hurts!

After putting out a dinner that took a chunk of the afternoon to cook, and it of course being largely ignored, It was time for baths, pj's a little movie, snack and finally brushing teeth and bed.

I had the triplets, and honestly I move them quickly through the paces. Brush your teeth, pick a book, read the books, rock each kid and into bed.

And tonight was to be no different. I have a headache and a toothache and wanted then down. So while Mark is curled up on my lap listening to my book I touched my head and said "wow my head really hurts" more to myself then to my 3 year old in footie pajamas. But he said "oh weally? you head hurt?"
"yeah sweetie momma's head hurts."
'you want take my medicine? it red" He is so concerned.
Cara walks over and says "maybe I kiss it?" So I lean down for a kiss and go back to reading the book. The whole time Cara strokes my hair.
You wonder which moments you choose to rush through. It is so often the bedtime routine that I dread that ends up being the calmest and most connecting of all of the moments of the day.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Just Be

A few weeks ago I was putting the triplets to bed. Part of the routine is that I sit with them for a few minutes while they drift off. I sometimes use this quiet time to pray. Which may sound a little more profound then what it is. Anyway. I usually have a few things that I feel bad about, mostly lack of patience with the kids. And of course my list of requests, good health for family and friends, perseverance, some strength, you get the picture.
This night I looked up and their is Mark sitting up in bed, hands folded, whispering. Now I know he as just mimicking me, and not truly praying but it got me to send up a new prayer. This one says, please, if Mark is praying don't let him think he needs to be forgiven for anything, or to request anything...let him just feel your love him just the way he is.
I almost felt panicked that Mark may think he has failed in any way, I wouldn't want him to spend a minute feeling inadequate. Really Mark it is over, the milk was spilled and cleaned up. I am not angry, you are great. Maybe you hit Cara over the head with your book, but we talked about it and it is done.
God, so I have read feels the same way towards us as a parent does towards a child. Yet I always focus on how I failed, how I need to do and be better. Worthy things of course, but sometimes I have to let it rest.
Mark you just being makes me happy. I love the way kids can bring a truth into such clear focus, for us adults that complicate things so often.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Alexa is here!




Wow this summer feels like it is slipping away from me. I can't believe that the boys start FIRST GRADE! Wow! At least we are ending on a good note, with Alexa visiting with us for 2 weeks. It has been great to really get to know that fun-loving, crazy girl. She has added a lot of laughter to our house and has been just great to have around.
We didn't get do too much new stuff, though we made it to the beach, the sprinklers at the park, the pool, a little shopping, 2 outdoor movies and a concert at the park. We baked a very cool sponge Bob cake, and celebrated Steve' birthday. Of course she was a big help to Sofi, and helped her bring the kids to the playground quite a few times.

I am glad that we have a few more days of her wacky, fun, fashionable cousin in the house!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Good weekend




Okay, if that picture does not crack you up, you have lost your sense of humor all together. What a great day Friday at the zoo was. Just perfect with me and my three chickadees. They were all in great moods and could not have been better company.

I especially enjoyed stopping by the Puma cage, where we found out they can weigh up to 200lbs. I said wow even dad doesn't weigh 200 lbs, and Mikie pipes up "yeah but mommy does". Take it easy their little man.

The whole weekend was great, especially walking on the boardwalk at Jones beach Sunday night. The moon was this great orange color. It was relaxing and beautiful, holding hands with Chris and Mark, wowing at the night sky over the vast, black ocean.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The trip





Okay, so I failed in my promise to blog everyday. But without a camera, it seems my motivation wanes.
It was a good trip in many ways. The kids had such a nice time, and we did not get tired of eachother's company at any time. Never was there a time when I said, I wish I was going home. I could have actually stayed on the road even longer.

It was good to spend time with them, and to realize that for all of the mistakes I have made as a parent, and the childcare tribulation we contantly seem to be put through, the kids seem more than fine, they seem like good, well adjusted, energetic, trusting little souls.

When I set up the trip, in my mind it was to have an uninterupted period to really connect to the kids. As it turned out, it was even deeper than that fairly deep goal. It became a chance to connect with 3 other great kids, my nieces and nephews. It seems that the only way to keep up with kids, and even teenagers is to be around them. I feel more apart of my larger family then when I left one week ago.
Joe, Sara and Brent are some of the best kids that I know, fun, open, intelligent and kind.

All four of the original kids in our family have been put through some serious challenges in the last few years. I will say that at the end of this week I could see that we are a strong family. We will adjust to the changes and come out not just survivors, but people who can still laugh, see the joy in a day and recognize the blessing of having our children near and having family to lean on.

Thank you to everyone who made this adventure of mine possible,
Mom and dad, for getting me to Pittsburgh and hosting the 4th. For camping when I know you could have been in a fine hotel!
Russ for hosting me and my wrecking crew for the week
Sara for babysitting, packing and unpacking the car and great music!!
Kate for babysitting and packing duties
Kate and Sara for really fun company throughout it all!
Joe for your room and your patience! For making rocking fires! Oh and for Guitar hero!
Brentie for keeping the boys entertained, sharing your toys and being the best 7 year old I have ever known!
Larry, for you good advice and your humor!
Ruth for being perhaps the best Aunt ever, the cool buckets and your endless acceptance of my worst parenting mistakes!
Marty for entertaing the triplets! Espcially Cara.

Thank you all!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Catch up

I had promised myself that I would blog everyday for this trip. I have fallen way short of this goal. Now I am lost in all that is happened and I am not sure where to begin.
We started with the first night at my parents house. Then we drove 6 grueling hours the next day to the reunion. I have to say that reunion was great this year. My aunt Joann works hard to put together a nice picnic.
Following the picnic we drove 2 more grueling hours on low fuel and through a harrowing thunderstorm. All I can say, is thank God the kids were fantastic. They put up with it like troopers! I on the other hand was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
That night we had an awesome fire and the kids stayed up too late catching fire flies and making smores.
The next day was off and on rain. The boys got to swim and all 5 kids+Brent wen to for a ride on a horse. Oh wait, Chris decided not to ride. then we had hotdogs on the grill, followed by more smores!
Monday was cold and rainy. So we headed over to living treasures and really great zoo/petting zoo. They fed the animals carrots, the babies were in 7th heaven as we were allowed to go in with the animals to be fed. The baby goats were jumping right up on the them. Mark hovered between scared and thrilled. It was a ton of fun. We followed it up with lunch at mcd's
Today is sunny finally and we are going to go to the pool. From here on out I will blog frequently, so that I can capture the moments better.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An old story-the pink shoe odyssy

I found this story I wrote up a long time ago. If semantic errors drive you crazy skip it, because I have not time to correct it right now!


I have decided to take the five kids along with me to buy birthday presents for the weekend parties. We were actually invited to three parties, but will only be attending 2, because Steve and I have a Chinese wedding to attend on Sunday.

I get the kids shoed and jacketed (if there is such a term, and even if there isn’t). I send the big boys down the stairs first to wait in our tiny area we call “the entrance or entrance way”. When I had first moved from Manhattan I couldn't’t stop calling it the lobby. As in “wow this is a really small lobby.” Steve would not so patiently remind me that it was not a lobby that we did not live in an apartment and he was under no circumstances the DOORMAN. Any way some people are very sensitive about job titles, doorman, bellhop really what’s the difference.

This day I put Cara’s pink Mary Jane’s on, though I prefer her pink sneakers, I was forced by the pandemonium breaking out around me, as it often does when the shoes are brought out, to settle for the Mary Jane’s. The babies understand that the shoes mean we are leaving the house and apparently leaving the house calls for an excess of laughter, screaming, ever more feats of dangerous climbing (Mark can climb up to, and stand on the window sill, edge his way across the window sill to turn on the radio or to knock it off its perch) and lots of tears. So I went with the Mary Jane’s.
I open the door to the den and the three 16 month old babies run, fall down, get up, step on each other and race for the doorway, getting stuck as all three end up there at the same time some how, with the one who is the least able to get through, stepping back to pull on jackets and hair to get the other two blockers to his or her freedom out of the way. This tactic rarely works. A few screams and a backward body slam usually send the puller down on his butt and the other two burst through to our landing, which is precariously small for three toddlers who need to turn around and get down on all fours to crawl down the stairs. There is usually one that will attempt the stair forward and needs to be seriously redirected. My goal at this point is to sit halfway down the stairs (there are only 8 steps) to slow people down and give some direction. Mikie is first to hit the stairs but 2 steps from the bottom something shiny strikes his fancy and he had the audacity to STOP! Before I could move Mark literally climbed on Mikies back shimmied down and landed first. Mikie yelled and batted at him, but he never had a fighting chance I mean he STOPPED, he didn’t have a leg to stand on.

Now we have made it down to the lobby and I am seriously fuming that the stupid doorman is not their and he will certainly get no tip this Christmas. The babies are crowding poor Chris and Matt who have little patience in this small space. The babies are trying to grab all the keys they see on our little key table as Chris freaks out yelling “no babies danger!” Matthew swings open the door and I swear there is a full moment when all action and noise ceases, just like in a movie. Matthew makes eye contact with me and realized a beat too late that he should not have opened the door.

Matthew beats a fast track out of there and I run out the door knowing that my only chance is to swing open the large side doors of the van. I grab the handle and it’s locked. One baby is making his way to the backyard, another to the street. I get the key and unlock it. Like that the gremlins, I mean babies, hear the door and start charging the van. Chris sees their intention at the same time as Matthew and they jump over the babies to be first.

I lock all five kids into seats and put in a movie (so much for no TV under 2 how about no R-rated movies under 2 ? Sometimes goals must be amended). We arrive peacefully to the mall, which includes me driving an 8 foot tall, 15 passenger van, under a bridge clearly marked 6’11”. We park outside of the garage because it is marked 7’, you would think after the bridge I would have no respect for those signs…but I am trying to be good role model some of the time.

I gather everyone. Matthew and Christopher fell asleep on the way so I am able to get the triple stroller together and put the babies in the stroller in relative calmness. The boys are great holding carefully to the stroller as we make our way through the parking lot. It never ceases to amaze me how many people treat the parking lot like the Indy 500 as I brush off any memories of me acting the same way only a few short years ago. It is so much easier to be a self-righteous mom if you edit our any part of your life when you were not a mom.

We tried to look for a gift at the Children’s place but it is too crowded and I give up. Oh but there is a KB toys store. We walk in and there is a potty emergency so we run back down the hall to the potty, thank God for family rooms that they have now. Chris does not want to go, but I promise not to flush the toilet and he agrees to the terms. Leaving the family potty room the other families are stunned. I have clearly gone way overboard in my effort to fit into the “family potty room” definition, perhaps I am trying to get those slackers with only one kid in tow to look bad. .
We get back to KB and I find the perfect gifts 2/10.00 so by perfect I mean dirt cheap and age appropriate (give me a break they won’t even be in the same school next year). While shopping the big boys see that the store has a pool set up full of balls. “can we go in?” um sure. Now should I let them play while I shop or will they get stolen? Ah well they’re almost 4 they have to learn to fend for themselves some point. And though it is annoying to me and the other shopper in the store, I call out to them every five minutes and they have taken to running between me and the pool. I check out and the help doesn’t even bother stopping there conversation when I pay, let alone make eye contact. So, the babies need to stretch there legs too, it is only fair. Into the pool they go. All five kids are playing as if they never left the house before. They were having so much fun. Other parents stop in and try to get there kids to play also, but it is too intimidating for the other kids. People are literally stopping in the window to watch and my kids. They bring a smile to everyone who sees them (maybe it is just a smile of relief that they are not theirs but a smile is a smile). I feel incredible proud of them as absurd as they may sound.

Any way after about 20 minutes I pull Mikie out, when I go to get Cara out he dives head first over the edge of the inflated pool and into the balls. I never saw him laugh so hard. Cara takes a walk and tries to leave the store, but not on Chrissy’s watch. He screams “no Cara, no don’t leave Mom, Cara is leaving!” He runs the 4 steps to her side grabs her arm, she loses her balance and falls, this does not deter Chris who drags her on her butt back to the stroller. Cara tough girl that she is, never bats an eye at being knocked over and dragged by her pink clad arm in the opposite direction of her intentions. With promises of ice cream I get them all situated and going again.

I realized at this point that Cara’s shoe is missing. Her sock is black now, and I don’t know how long the shoe has been missing. But lets face it I don’t like those stupid shoes and one of my great parenting strengths is that I am not very detailed orientated, often putting my comfort and rest above changing diapers in a timely fashion and changing the babies clothes when a few stains mysteriously appear. So if anyone was vaguely under the impression that I would consider charging back through the mall looking for an ugly shoe you were seriously mistaken.

The ice cream is bought, cones for the boys a small cup for the triplets to split. We find a nice quiet area to make loud and not so nice and chow down. The boys are corralling the babies who will not wander far from the source of the ice cream any way. Then I pack everyone up for the van. When we are leaving Matthew is begging to stay. I can’t blame him it was a great afternoon and I came home with two gifts, of course I realized that I actually need two for each party.. but any way. It was a nice day. It was not Disney World, but it seemed magical anyway, it so hard to convey why. And to top it off what is on the running board of “big”? The pink ugly Mary Jane! All I can hope now is for the doorman to be home to help me get all these kids out out of the lobby.

Memorial Day



This family is always on the fast track! We had a great weekend. With smore's and go-Kart racing, swimming and tennis. Oh we do have the life. Matthew took the cake this weeken, perhaps the youngest single racer in the history of the sport. Unfortunately I am terrible with this camera and do not have a shot of the greatest moment.

Mark also did great, splashing in the pool and having a great time of it. I was so proud of him, as this is his first venture into the wild blue waters of the kiddie pool. It was great to have Dalila helping us and adding to the fesivities!

Memorial day was a winner this year.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Looking for trouble

Adventureland. This is where Matthew was invited to a birthday party on Saturday and where Steve and I thought might me a nice day for the whole family to tag along. And you know it was nice. We got there as it opened and the place was ours. Matthew was off with his party group and the other 6 of us hung together.

We enjoyed our little picnic lunch and then we were off to the races. Cara is fearless. There is not a ride that even makes her hesitate. Mark on the other hand had no bid for any of it.

However after about 2 hours the crowds thickened, the kids wearied and Chris jumped ship to hang out with the birthday crowd. And then I spend the next 2 hours losing and finding children. Okay so they weren't all that lost, but Matthew would join us then leave again, agitated babies walked off. Chris wandered towards carnival games temporarily out of site.

Every time I would get myself and those kids together there would be another near loss experience.

So enough fun for one weekend, no oh no! To the city we go the next day to a street fair!!!! Okay you think an amusement park is rough, well actually there is probably a better chance of encountering a homicidal pedophile at an amusement park then a street fair still.

The one saving grace is that there was a steady downpour. You may view this as a negative, however the crowds at the street fair thin out quickly in the rain, so mine were free to dance in the rain and jump in the puddles living it up, while eating soggy shish kabobs and calamari, washed down with warm, sticky zeppolis. The Jamaican music kept Cara moving and the deals on knock off bags kept me happy.

Mikies funky dance moves kept us all in stitches, while Steve hunted around for more fair delicacies!

Overheard:

Mikie " that's not the point!"
Cara "be quiet little man!" " my mommy says that is the point!"
Mikie: " my daddy says it is the point!"
Cara " well all the other people say it is not the point!"

Matthew " Mom! don't tell Cara that, that's not the point she doesn't like it!"
"is Jesus an Indian?'

Cara "my mommy, my mommy, my mommy!"
Me " my daughter , my daughter, my daughter"
Cara "me not daughter me Cara Sophia!"
me: " you are Cara Sophia, my daughter."
Cara " That is not the point!"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's day has come and gone, and I have a million pictures to post and stories to tell. But for some reason a simple memory or a million of them have come rushing back to me. It is not a specific time that is playing on the edge of my thoughts, but over hearing Fernanda in kitchen. Cabinet doors shutting, the faucet running. The smell of coffee wafting from the kitchen. It made me think of my mom.and the comfort of hearing her in kitchen. How it was almost the underlying sound track of my life. It let you know that life was carrying on, She was there, so all was well.

Though these daily tasks may have bored her, or driven her to distraction, for me and I will say all 4 of us, they were rhythm of life. Getting up and getting it done, one more day probably showed us more about how to live then any pointed lesson.

Maybe the greatest sacrifice of all is the mundane and repetitious chores of raising kids. It may have felt stifling to you at times, but it certainly let the rest of us breathe easier.

Thanks mom and to steal a line from Christopher- I love you in my heart forever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The shipping department

Well as anyone of you knows that keeps up with my life, I am home because we have no au pair for a month. You also know then that I was looking forward to this despite the fact that I am running the business during nap and in the evenings, which is not so great, because the house is messier and the business is a trainwreck. Take our shippig department.

Mostly when you order something you assume they have a shipping department with efficient people working an efficient plan. Our shipping department is run by 3 three year olds an a screaming mom. So our shipping department today was very cranky one of our staff bit another one and then there was the peeing on the floor of the shipping room, a lost shoe and much running around chasing eachother while alternating between laughing and crying.

Now I don't care how crazy the shipping department looks at your job, but ours is really an emotional, high energy place where snacks and apple juice and potties are in constant demand, at least they don't expect a salary!


Oh an just so I never ever forget, Matthew asked me yesterday " how do you find the person you marry?" He has been concerned about this since he was three. Back then he was only open to marrying someone in the house so we could all remain here. At first he was going to marry Delila, but then he realized she was a grown up already and was opting for Cara. I told him that he could find someone outside of the house and we would make her live in our house. Honestly he will probably find the right girl before he finishes kindergaten, he likes Anglea but my preference is for Karina.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Night-night just got a whole lot easier

I am enjoying a fantastic lull between au pairs. I am mostly home with the kids for three straight weeks, and I am over the moon about it. One of the toughest times to deal with the kids is homework and night night (and usually the only time that I see the kids at all during the week.)

And though homework is still tough because the triplets do not want to entertain themselves for the hour that the homework takes, night night has gotten much easier.

Steve has been telling me for a few weeks now, that the big boys help him do night night routine with the babies. It just did not sound like a good plan to me. But monday night they talked me into letting them help. So they each helped brush the babies teeth. Then during reading time, I read to one baby and each boy read to a baby. It was like a scene from "a perfect preschool setting" Chris was reading to Mikie a book about the earth and with each interesting fact, would say isn't that awesome? I mean how inspriring can a reading session get? While Matthew was showing Cara a shapes book and asking her to point ot several shapes and when she would get them right he would say" nice work Cara" Okay What?????Honestly I don't know who these people are! It gets better. I tell them to leave it is time for me to shut the lights and rock each triplet. "No. we wait here" they tell me. okay lets try it. The boys go to the corner sit as quiet as mice while I rock the others. Then we leave and they tip toe quietly all the way up the stairs.

Honestly that is what happened. I was so impressed. And overall my anxiety was lower because I didn't have to rock the babies while listening to things crash and fights breaking out from the boys room upstairs where they usually wait for me!

This three weeks will be topped off by the Myrtle Beach trip so it is a great spring for me, and hopefully the babies are enjoying themselves also!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Sunday

This Sunday starts out like usual, Steve and I get up at 6:30 to prepare for the day. We make French toast most weekend mornings and bacon Yum! The only catch is that our kids wake up starving, so we have to get a jump on the cooking action. Matthew is up early which is no suprise so he cooks with his dad and I take a few pictures for his star of the week poster. Matthew is an exceptional student in that he hands in everything on time and pays careful attention to all the details of his school. He knows all of the janitors by name, what his teacher's husband, mother and sister all do for a living.
When Cara enters the kitchen she greets each one of us "good morning dad, good morning mom, good morning Matt." She loves greetings. All of the babies do like to greet, when we pick up the boys from school there are hugs from each baby to each big boy, who in turn act like they are just tolerating it, but their tiny smiles betray their appreication of the gesture.
After breakfast, we dress everyone for church, digging out dress shoes and clean socks. Church is a landfield to us, but the kids have gotten better. I bring a bag of books and small quiet toys. Today I get to sit next to Chris, who prefers to sit away from the other kids so he can read the miselet. I tell him that the priest will be reading thhose specific words soon. The priest gets started and Chris follows along word for word, right through the easter story. I explain to him what is happening in the story. He is really into it.
We make it through with only one incident. On a bathroom trip there is a brief wait. This is not Mark's forte and he drops his pants in the lobby as he waits his turn for the bathroom. Well at least Mikey didn't request to sit as he can't say s and always replaces it with sh. So when he goes to the bathroom now, he will say I have to sit! But it comes out a bit different then that.
After church we stop for bagels and head home.
We spend the rest of the day doing nothing but playing board games, watching movies, hitting the internet, and reading. Steve shows the kids how to make crosses out of the palms, nonni stops by with some new clothes, Cara is demonstraing her exceptional verbal skills with endless detailed complaints about her brothers and Handro is flying through the air with the greatest of ease from any mount he can find. Another good Sunday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Winter Weekend



These are just a few pictures of a great, but oh too short weekend away with the kids. It was really beautiful and fun. The kids were fantastic, and as in the words of today's pop-psychology, a great chance to re-connect. I could have stayed a week but real life could not be kept at bay.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Katie

Here I rarely post about my professional life I have my Accent Master blog for that. However today was a cool day. I went to a business Woman's luncheon and Katie Couric spoke! What a fantastic event. I have been a huge fan of hers since the beginning of her national career. Mostly it was light topics, one thing she did say in response to a question was this "Making time for me, means spending time helping others and interacting with them, that is when I am the happiest."

I feel so relieved to hear this. Not that my "me" time is necessarily helping others, but it is not a mecentric hour in a "personal sanctuary" that I created in my home for this purpose, or journaling each night. No. i don't have time for that. The pressure to make time for that seems big right now. Not in my head, but in every "woman/mom" geared magazine that exists, from Oprah to redbook. They preach the virtue of alone time and if you don't make time for it your health, family and marriage will surely suffer irreversible damage.

I don't particularly enjoy forced me time, especially when tomorrow's lunch is not packed for the boys, or content needs to be written for my DVD releases deadline yesterday. My so-called me time is playing duck duck goose with the kids, or ushering them to an unhealthy and cold germ infested McDonald's' then I feel the most relaxed. That feeling of I am where I am supposed to be feeling. It was good to hear someone else say that the me time is just not sitting around overpriced aroma therapy candles, but actually being involved in an action that brings you peace.

On a wholly different note: Matthew went to sleep with the map of our Myrtle beach campground clutched in his hands tonight. So we have begun officially waiting for Spring break. Oh Matthew also had a brilliant idea. We should get two dogs and name them Myrtle and Beach so when they run away we can yell "myrtle Beach!"

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Why I work early and late


Why do I see clients at 7 Am and 8PM? So that I can take off precious daytime hours to catch fantastic moments like this.
Cara is walking up the stairs with her arms out making "monster noises". Mark, who likes to my known as Handro (this is a derivitive of his middle name Alessandro, which was changed to Alejondro by our endless parade of Latin nannies,who then Cara shortened to Handro) yells "monster Cara"
When she arrives Mark pushes her in play, but hard. Down Cara goes right on her little bottom. The look on her face was of complete insult and hurt.
I go give her a hug and ask her if she is okay. She nods her sullen head yes and goes to the couch to sulk.
I look up and Handro is whispering something to Cara, she nods her head yes and he puts a blanket on her, and get this, he leans in and kisses her cheek!
Is that the sweetest thing ever!
So not working 9-5 is great for me. I run around a lot but I squeeze the most out of every day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Old stories

I found some old stories and I am cutting and pasting them here. They are full of grammar and spelling mistakes, I hope one day I can come back and correct them all. These stoies come from 2006-2007. I also found a few from 2003 and I will post those eventually.

Just a morning
It is 8:35 am and all five children are in the car. We set off for the preschool to drop off the boys. The big boys get out of the car and stand next to the door. As a baby comes out they take a hand and wait. Matthew gets mark, Chris gets Mikie and I get Cara. I grab there snack bags and we head to the school. I have to go to the cubby room to help with the coats. Due to a recent outbreak of lice the boys must put the coats in plastic bags before they can put them in the closet. The babies have all found seats and are patiently waiting sitting around a table. Waiting for what they and I both don’t know. They are profoundly disappointed that what ever they are waiting for is not coming they reluctantly get up and follow me out of the room.

Mikie and Mark hold hands and I hold Mark and Cara’s hands as we head across the parking lot and pile back into big. We stop for gas and head over to play group at OLBS. We are early so I set up the coffee while the kids explore the toys placed around the room.

It is a good 1 and ½ hours of play. They read the children books, sing songs and do the parachute thing. Mark has eaten about 4 bagels and is clutching the last one. I tell them it is time to head out to pick up Matthew and Christopher and they follow me like ducks in a row.

We make it back into big and head to the school. The babies fall asleep on the way so I leave them in the car when I pick up the boys.

The boys file out of class “did you bring daddy’s car?”
“no.”
“Is Gram at our house?”
“no”
“did you bring the babies?”
“yes”
“alright!”

Matthew gets in the van and kisses all of the babies’ hello. We head home for lunch.

Triples communicate


It is coming to the point with the triplets that they are trying with more and more determination to communicate to the world beyond the three of them. They have always communicated in there own way, with smiles and tears, then gestures and shouts. Now they are mastering the words they need to tell others not just what they want but their experiences.

They have always been able to communicate to each other even when it has not gone there way. For example Mikie is standing on a chair. These small plastic chairs are a prized possession of the den. They like to pull them over to stand on and flip the light switch on and off it is a constant disco down there. The other favorite activity with the chairs is pushing them across the room. Now they have toys purposely for this point but the chairs are the choice toy. So Mikie is standing on the chair for our disco den entertainment, when Mark decided he wanted to push that chair across the room. He knocked Mikie off the chair and began pushing the recently vacated chair across the room.

Mikie was justifiably enraged and went after his chair with vengeance. Cara was watching the action. She picked up another plastic chair and handed it to Mikie who was then happy.

Do you see how great this gesture was? She got the storyline and the feelings surrounding it and acted to change the outcome and to help. This happens all of the time. When Mark cries they try to find him his binky. This soothes him, calms him they understand emotions and the acts that can affect them.


My Alarm

The usual alarm next to my bed is the chattering of Mikie the middle child of my triplet litter. He Mikie has all the trappings of a true middle child and sometimes I think I hear him utter “Marsh, Marsha, Marsha” . He is a good boy. Good looking, well tempered, learning all of his skills right on the money. Though, he does have the distinction of being the only triplet to visit the ER. And he has done it three times.

This morning however, there was not the usual pleasant chatter it was all out screaming. Well there goes my peaceful cup of morning coffee. This kid will need immediate assistance. So into their room I walk. All three are up. The screaming stops the minute I walk in. What is wrong. The all look fine. Standing in their cribs staring at me. Even Mikie looks good except for a few tears silently rolling down his face.

I walk to his crib and see his knee is stuck between the bars. I wiggle that fat knee out and pick him up for a hug. He wants out of my arms almost immediately.

Mark is pointing at his binky on the floor and smiling so I pick him up and he flips himself in my arms so he is head down with his arms outstretched toward the beloved binky. I let him go on his head and he happlily retrieves the binky and walks away.

Ah my Cara she will have time and hugs for me. But no, I made the fatal mistake of getting her last so she is running from one corner of the crib to the other trying to avoid my hands. She then stands with her back to me in the far corner. I reach out to grab her and she dodges me. After I finally grab her she screams and kicks and I put her down.

She then picks up all of the blankets, pillows and stuffed animals that have been thrown out of the cribs onto the floor during the night. She hands them to me to be put back in. This is our daily ritual.

I have left the bedroom door open and the boys are playing in the den. So I go to check on them. Oh my I left the door to the stairs open and they are standing frozen on the landing. They know this is not protocol and they are delighted and scared at the freedom. Cara charges past me and pushes the boys out of the way. Making her way up the stairs without a backward glance. The boys follow suit.

We are now officially off schedule. The babies have not been changed and breakfast has not been made. They should not upstairs yet. Mark sees dinning room chair and climbs up the chair crawls across the table and sits in his high chair.

They eat 3 bowls of cheerios each. Matthew happily refilling the bowls.

Creepyville a Trilogy
I Woke up this morning next to Cara Sophia, on a mattress on the floor, of a seriously depilated house in north western PA. We had arrived late last night after driving up from Pittsburgh PA. We arrived in Conneaut Lake when Steve looked at me and said “now where/”.
To stall for time I said “where what?”
“Where is the house we rented?” he replied onto to my game immediately.
“ Do you even have an address?”
My blank look was really all the answer he needed.
“A street name?”
To this I actually had an answer. “Sunnyside!
The kids were beginning to stir. I knew this could be trouble.
We stopped at a convenience store. And I clumsily asked if they new where our street was or our rental office. She hadn’t heard of either and offered her sage opinion that we would never find it in this dark, especially on these windy streets. All five were up now and commencing a low whine of confusion and tiredness. My tension was skyrocketing. I called my Dad’s phone and he successfully guided us to the house. We of course didn’t have keys because we couldn’t locate the rental office. Lucky for us the house was far from locked up and we waltzed right in.
Did I actually say waltzed? With five kids now 4 and under, a 12 year old niece and an au pair. Waltzing may have been an exaggeration.

We stumbled, cried and whined into our rented house. Pack n plays had to be set up, sheets put on beds and luggage carried in. The house is creepy. The ‘finished’ basement I immediately christened as creepyville central. There is where we put the two boys in pack n play and a mattress on the floor for me.

I rocked the boys and put them in their cribs. They cried inconsolably until midnight. They finally fell asleep, but the floor of creepyville central was too much for me and I went up to where Steve was. I kicked him out and slept on the floor in one of the not so much better bedrooms with Cara, since her crib was not coming until the next day with her Gram and Grandpa.

So Cara went to sleep at 12:30 am and I don’t know when my big boys went to sleep in their bunk room. This morning at 6 am the babies woke in accordance with their normal schedule. They were crazy and I was exhausted. We piled everyone back into big by 9 am, after a breakfast of Peanut butter or Nutella on hot dog rolls. We tried and tried to get them to sleep in the car, but to no avail. I dropped Steve, Nadia, and Sara at McDonalds with internet access and drove some more. Long, long roads with nothing but farms. It was so pretty but no one really slept. I came back to McD’s and had my quick turn on the internet. We fed everyone lunch, shopped for the weeks groceries and drove home. The drive was short so of course everyone fell asleep. We unpacked the groceries and we saw a note from uncle Russ. They were at the beach come meet us. Steve had a pounding headache. So Sara and I took all five over. We found out we will have to drive over to the beach, which stinks. Putting the kids in the car is so much work and honestly the beaches at home are nicer if we want to put the kids in the car.

Part II
I woke up in creepyville once again this morning, though it was a bit better. At least no one was sleeping in creepyville central A.K.A the basement, we were all crammed into the upstairs rooms. We took our box fan from the car and it really helped cool off the room. We slept in a room with the three babies, the twins slept in the bunk room with their cousin Brent. Uncle Russ, Nadia, Joe, and Sara slept in the living room and my parents got their own tiny bedroom.

It rained hard last night so the local beaches are not open. After lunch we will head to the amusement park. Breakfast this morning was a mad house as I ran around serving all of the kids. Everyone else over the age of 16 smartly escaped to the basement/playroom/ creepyville central area to hang out with their coffee. Despite a good night’s sleep I feel exhausted. .

The house is moldy as an old sponge and smells musty. The boys love it, they love the house and being with their cousins. They think this is a great vacation; you have to love their enthusiasm and enjoyment of each day, though they are tired and more crabby then usual.

The triplets seem to have no idea what is going on, and just go along for the ride. They loved the beach yesterday. Mark went into the water and just walked in deeper and deeper, falling at times his whole face would get wet and he would get up smiling. Cara found a mud puddle to play in and looked like a third world baby by the end of the day covered in mud from head to toe. Mikie was hesitant when he first hit the beach but warmed up after a while and he too headed for deep water.

They found a nice boy on the beach to fill their mud hole with water and two little girls lent them cups to play in the water with.

Part III
Well we ditched creepyville on Wednesday the day after the worms arrived in the basement. Yes worms. The place was a wreck and so was I by the end. We packed up the five kids our au pair and now a nephew in replacement of the niece. We drove to lake Erie and we were impressed we went to Prescall which is a peninsula jutting out into the massive lake.

We let the kids go on the beach which may have been an error in judgment we had to shower 4 out of the 5 before they could go back in the car. Mikie managed to stay clean as he was running 102. temperature and slept in Nadia’s arms the whole time.

We got back on the road it was tough going as the babies were fussing and out right having melt downs for most of the 3 hour trip. I was near meltdown mode when we finally saw the exit for my brother’s house.

It was nirvana to be in that clean, cool house and there hospitality was bar none. We stayed for two nights and managed to salvage our vacation. Meanwhile on my parents end they procured a full refund for creepyville.

The 6 hour trip home in the car started out okay with all five too dazed to fight sleep. Though soon they were up and complaining. Nadia and I did the best we could to keep everyone relatively calm and thank goodness we hit no traffic exept a bit on the Cross Bronx Express way.

Nonni made us some pot roast so diner was taken care of on the way back. The house was literally 100 degrees when we got inside so we blasted air conditioning which could not in the least keep up. I was tired and edgy by the time we all got in but very happy to be back home.

The next day Steve headed out to work and I stayed with the kids. I got a lot cleaning up to do and because my brother’s house looked so good I am going crazy pushing for home improvements! It is now Tuesday and I got Steve to put the border up in the babies room and the okay to paint the living room and the babies room!

Things are slowly getting back to normal and Matthew is having a lot less meltdowns. He loves excitement and cousins but he is a routine boy at heart!

It doesn't matter who the nanny isThe truth is it does not matter who the nanny is. Her level of dedication, caring or responsibility has no impact on my opinion of her. I simply want to be home. Home with the kids that drive me crazy. I want to be home. I left a house today, with 5 crazy kids, the nanny stacking the dishwasher while admonishing Cara, who is her closest friend in the house.

I wanted to strangle her, I wanted to not leave. I wanted to stay home and put the triplets down. I wanted to hang out with the boys or even do some laundry, or plan an outing or dinner. I did not want to go back to work. I hate having a nanny. The freedom and choices it provides leaves me reeling and sad. I want there to be no choice and no alternative. Me and the kids in for the ride on our own.

It’s too much for one to do, the quality of there care would be reduced. All I can say is so be it. I am not trying to say what is right or wrong I am only saying my truth if you will.

I want to know Mark and the mystery behind his eyes and quick smile. I want to reassure Mikie, I want to hold Cara. I want to lead Matthew and teach Chris. I want endless days to spend with them. I want them to be my sole focus.

Are they alright the way things are? Yes. They are fine. But I am not. The only truth for me is that I want to be home.

HalloweenIt is Halloween day. The big moment we have all been waiting for. I am dressing superman and batman for their Pre-K parade. I call batman for breakfast, who tells me in a quite superior tone of voice that he is not batman, he is Chris! Batman can fly and Chris he reports cannot.

I have volunteered at the school to help today. I drag the boys into the school. My first job as helper is to pack large bags marked for each child with the goodies we moms have supplied. Everyone’s bags of goodies are much more elaborate than my own. Mom’s have wrapped things brightly with bows and lollipops stuck to the outsides. I have merely thrown two bags of candy and 3 with Halloween straws on the table. Whoops. I have to admit this is just one strike against me in a river of strikes I have chalked up at this pretentious pre-k. I am starting to enjoy my status as the school slacker and like a child labeled delinquent I think I will just set about meeting the low expectations the teacher clearly holds for me, in her condescending manner. I am too glad that I don’t have to sit around in argyle sweater sets, lording over classes of spoiled 4 year olds and their cloying moms.

The parade is beautiful. My boys rock the show with their spirited singing of little pumpkins and the boo song.

My next job as volunteer is to dress the kids in their street clothes. I realize that I packed no street clothes, probably because I didn’t read one of the five million letters that are sent home on a daily basis. I confess to my lapse of good sense and with a patient little tight smile the teacher says well then I guess they won’t be getting changed.

When we suckers I mean volunteers are done changing the kids, we are told we can now take our kids and go. So really they didn’t need to get changed…I wish I had never fessed up! I have to learn to be coyer with these people! Slacker and coy that would be the perfect combination. What a role model I will be!

We head home and I talk the boys into taking a rest.

When darkness falls we dress all five kids. Superman, superman, batman, spideman and catwoman. We wait for the first groups of trick or treaters as the tension mounts we run to the side walk to see if we see anyone. There is a witch, and vampire on their way! All five kids are going crazy on the front lawn. The babies are screaming over the lit Jack o lanterns and all of the action.

Steve finally arrives home and we are off!!! We are the hit of the hood’ and we get so much candy! We are thrilled, tired and hungry so we head home for dinner and to look through our mountains of booty.

Its Pitch Black and Pouring out
It is pitch black outside and the rain is pouring down. It is only 3:45 AM but Steve is in shower headed for a conference in PA. I am grateful to be rolling over to go back to sleep.

At 6AM I get my morning wake up chatter through the monitor. Mikie is up and happily talking up a storm to baby, the pink baby doll he stole from Cara. I know I should hurry and jump in the shower but only manage to lie there listening to the rain. 45 minutes later Matthew walks tentatively through my door. “I can’t sleep anymore” he says in an inappropriately booming voice. I tell him to come sit and talk to me. With this simple invitation his face lights up and his brilliantly white teeth flash his trademark gorgeous smile.

He talks and I not sure now what he has said but it is nice and its cozy and I am grateful. In slips chris who climbs over us and gets under the covers to cuddle up with me. Matthew will not dip nary a toe back under covers after he has gotten permission to rise and shine, but chris is different and would happily cuddle for minutes.

All the babies are talking now so I rouse myself out of bed and put cartoons on for the boys. I tell them wait I need to change the babies and then we can all have breakfast. Matthew waits for about a minute and bounds downstairs to “help” me with the babies. The first order of this helping business is to leave the door open allowing the babies to slip upstairs in old diapers.

I grab them one at a time and change them. It is still dark outside from the rain and the change of seasons. The rain is still falling as I toast up the egos while chugging down a cup of java.

We eat. Then it is on to the second or is it already the third order of the day. Carving pumpkins. Matthew, Chris and I discuss emotions our pumpkin could show. Chris picks a pumpkin that is scared while Matthew chooses a pumpkin that is scary but not too scary.

I carve away and do the best that I can. I plop candles in the center and we turn off the lights. All of us are delighted with the results. I then shut the door and put Matthew and chris in charge while I shower. It goes better than one might expect.

Dalila comes down and admires the pumpkins. She wants to go to Howard Beach for her day off. Okay. I will find you a bus route. I do and show it to her. She tells me she does not want to take a bus. So I pile the kids in the car and off we go. I have never gone to Howard Beach before but I get there with minimal difficulty.

It is still cloudy out so we just head back home. I feed the kids and insist they take a nap.

The babies however had napped for a few minutes in the car and now do not want to nap anymore. Never mind that they usually nap for 2 hours and the car nap lasted maybe 15 minutes. But I put them in their cribs and send the boys to their room. I need some time to pull the now completely crazy house back together.

After 45 minutes the boys are back and we start preparing dinner. I think that dinner should be prepared before the babies are back. I step into the kitchen when I hear chris “How come Mark has no pj’s on?”
What Mark is in his crib. But no he is not. He is sitting at the dining room table half dressed with a poorly concealed grin of pride on his face.
“Mark!” I shout and me and Matthew both say “oh my cow!” This pushes Mark over the edge and he cracks up.

I get the rest of the babies and I finish diner prep with four boys standing on chairs at the kitchen counter “helping.” Cara good girl that she is sleeps on.

I had also promised Chris that he could help me make brownies. When we were in the middle of that mess. I realize the phone is off the hook. I hang it up. And immediately it rings. It is Dalila, she is not happy and I have to go pick her up.

The brownies are in the oven. I tell her I will be there in 45 minutes. I gather shoes and start dressing everyone as the brownies cook. Matthew is beside himself. He keeps saying we can’’t leave if the brownies are baking. I keep reassuring him that I will take the brownies out before we go.

I pile everyone in the car. Chris is missing a shoe, but what can you do? I tell him to hop.

I take out the brownies and go to Howard Beach.

I pick up Dalila. And feed the kids yucky drive through. They basically don’t eat any of it and just have brownies. I put the prepared dinner in the oven as I put all of the kids to bed.

When Steve gets home we eat a good meal in peace!

What a fantastic, perfect day. If my kids are enjoying their childhood as much as I am enjoying their childhood then I think they will be okay.

Holiday season 2006
The holiday season is here and things are busier than ever. We have successfully moved the new au pair into the house. We are happy with her and can only hope that she is happy too. Of course the language barrier is something to contend with!


The babies are getting bigger and crazier with every passing day, hour and minute. They talk more and more. Cara still has her trade mark “oh wooow!” or crying to me “ I fall”
. Mark is screaming “this!” “dada!” and “cook!” he shrugs his shoulders when you ask a question. When Dalila got separated from us at the mall, I was yelling her name and l look down to see Mark standing next to me with his palms in the air with body gesture of “I don’t know where she is !”
Mikie is the most talkative, able to say” this is boom” when the book falls. He loves baby his doll and looks all over for her. ‘come Cara”

I love the way they still help each other out. When Mike took a bad fall and was crying Cara brought him baby. They find drinks for the one that is in tears or offer them toys and books.

Cara is a rapper we call little “c”.

Matthew is still the ruler of the house. He sets the mood. He is a good boy. Smart and fun. He loves to be a help.

Chris is my mush he is so sweet and kind.

They are so much fun to have around this Christmas season. They make it all worth


Christmas Picture 2006
So here we are in the Bears Sterns building on 4th and Park Ave on a Saturday evening. It is officially the public space of the building, but apparently our family was capable of pushing the limits of the definition of public space.

My 5 children decked out in holiday splendor and our nanny in her pink balloon pants tucked into black suede boots and a belly shower. We are class act.

I can’t truly understand why the building manager asked us not so politely to “leave now”. Was it because Cara was trying to push the tree down, or because Mikie crawled under the DO NOT CROSS WITHOUT ID line? How do they know he does not have ID? Maybe it was the crawling, there could be some sort of rule about the crawling. Or was it because Mark took two ornaments off the tree and threw them across the gleaming marble floor? All three did tear off after the bouncing ornaments so there was no intention to littler.

Was it because Matthew and Christopher were practicing their Ninja moves while yelling “hi YA!”? They are very intimidating. Was it the PBJ sandwich fingerprints and drippings on their marble benches?

I think that maybe they are just grinches trying to steal away a Christmas. We left as quickly as we could which was probably not quickly enough as Chris caught on to the revolving door and he and Matthew each kept going around and round the pretty door. While Mikie made a break for the elevators as his faithful nanny carefully ran across the marble floor in Suede heels to catch him. Mark screamed when separated from his beautiful ornaments and Steve stepped on several escaped goldfish making a crumby mess in front of the pretty tree.

I haven’t felt like that much of delinquent since senior high!

Monday, February 4, 2008

school trip

If anyone can think of a better way to spend a Monday morning then going on a field trip with their kindergartener I'd like to hear it. I love seeing how they are out in the "world". I got to sit with Matthew and watch a play. He sat with his hands neatly folded in his lap, for the first 15 minutes and them, yes, he reached over and held my hand for the rest of the show. It was so sweet and relaxing. That is until the curtain went up and I looked to Christopher who could barely hold back the tears.
"I thought you would sit with me too".
"oh Chrissy on the next trip"
"no." His little voice wavering.
We had to leave the play and I saw him in the parking lot. I told him goodbye as I left with Matthew for his bus. I could see he was barely containing himself. His teacher did not notice the emotion on his face, and kept saying, "Chris, your mom said bye" Until Chris couldn't take it anymore and burst into tears and ran over to me.
Tnakfully they let me take Chris on Matthew's bus.
Ah Christopher so sweet. He fell asleep on my shoulder in the bus. I know it is because of his instable blood sugar, because they don't get snack and breakfast had been a diseaster.
But is was still nice holding Matthew's hand in the theater and then cozying up with Chris on the bus. I don't get too much of this anymore from my "big" boys. Even at the tender age of 5 they have begun to assert their seperatness from me, and usually feel embaressed at any public displays of affection. I still feel the peace from having spent the time with them in an environment where I didn't have to call the shots, just go for the ride and get some quality time with the boys.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

good times

We have been out and about and having a good time. Last weekend we took the kids to the city both Saturday and Sunday, enjoying some of the fantastic free events offered up by that paradoxial city, where you find play spaces charging 3,000 per year per child ($15,000.00 oh my! oh wait there is a 10% discount on siblings no problem then)and free events that are unbleievable. The one we chose was sponsered by a pharmaceutical company trying to convince parents that there kids needed to experience better living through pharmacueticals from birth on. Anyway they had a magician, free hot chocolates, a reading room where you could take the books home, a carasel, golf, all under a big hot-air tent. Wow!

This weekend however their was work to be done at home and errands to run. I think we may have had just as much fun here. Delila joined us for dinner on Sat. night and Steve made a rockin' meal and I made brownies for desert. The kids were great For the past 2 weeks I have had them eating with a tablecloth and real plates, so at our "fancy" saturday night dinner they understood passing the plates, waiting for grace ( I married a catholic so now I say things like grace), staying at the table ect.. So it was fun, and very party like. I was really proud of them and it was nice to have jessy and Dalila with us.

They went to bed late and of course got up early, 6AM actually, but they are hanging tough watching too much TV while Leo and the boys have a kickin band practice in the living room. This is a new thing picked up from Sara, Brent and Joe...uh thanks guys? mostly they let their two key boards kick out christmas tunes, while the guitar plays a Hannah Montana tune and they play the drums, maraccas and they other guitar that puts out rifts a la eddie Van Halen.

We are looking foward to the winter festival in NYC next weekend where they make snow and you can sled, snow board and eat ice cones! But really even at this early date our minds have turned to Myrtle Beach SC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

And then they were 3




I can't believe that the triplets turned 3 yesterday. It was three years ago on a Friday night when we rolled into the hospital hoping for a shot to calm the contractions when they told us I was good to go. We called Nadia our au pair to tell her we would not be back that night, then we called out parents. My parents packed up and prepared to come down and stay with us for three long months.

All three were healthy from the start Mark weighing in at 5.12 Michael at 5.4 and Cara at 4.12. 9 days they spent in NICU mostly for observation and little time basking under the Billi lights.

We were so anxious to get them home and begin our lives with 5 children under 3! It was tough going with the around the clock feedings and diaper changes with everyone pitching in relentlessly. Friends brought food and everyone who lived in the house worked nonstop. It was exhausting. At 5 months we finally got our first full nights sleep.

Now they chat up a storm, Cara tells me she is a big boy now, but she thinks her only options are baby or big boy...so she is going with big boy. They count sing the alphabet, identify colors and ask ask and then ask some more questions!

At this age I love taking them around to new places as they never fail to find even a mundane trip to the supermarket an invigorating experience. They bring a smile to the face of strangers and make me feel proud everyday.
Mark my fearless, dancing, graceful child
Mikey my stoic, kind, train obsessed boy
Cara my stubborn, quick, and beautiful girl

I love you more than words will ever say, I love you more then you will ever comprehend. You are always a blessing even in the most trying of times and all or our lives are better because you are here.

Happy Birthday