Our family

Our family

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?”
“Is Gram at our house?”
“did you bring the babies?”

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!

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