Friday, July 31, 2009

Halloween Ideas?

So ever since the babies were born, my wheels have been spinning about Halloween. I'd really like to coordinate the kids for their first Halloween together. Here's what I've come up with:

Three blind mice...farmer's wife
Three bears...Goldilocks
Three little kittens...Mother Cat
Three little pigs...Big Bad Wolf
Three monkeys (See/Speak/Hear no evil)...What would B be?
sheep...Bo Peep
Dwarfs...Snow White

I'm also on a budget. I really don't want to spend much money. Most of those baby costumes I can make from solid colored sleepers or sweats. However, those have been hard to find. You'd think it'd be easy to find 6-9 month black sweats, but nope, impossible! Sleepers too...never solid. Always patterned or with something embroidered on it. B does already have Snow White and Dorothy costumes.

Currently, I'm leaning towards Dorothy and Munchkins. This may be the last Halloween that her Dorothy costume fits her. The babies can be the Lollipop Guild. I recently bought them matching striped onesies that could work for this purpose. I can certainly find an oversized lollypop or two to put in the stroller as we Trick-or-Treat. I was also thinking I could cut some yellow poster board "bricks" and attach them to the stroller too. The only things I'd need to purchase would be coordinating pants for the babies, and red sparkly shoes for B.

So any ideas? What could they whole gang be? How can I get it done? I'm creative, but I don't sew. I'm more of a glue gun & felt kinda gal! Any other themes I missed?

Post comments, please!!!!!

Bridget really wants to be a "big girl" and to her being a big girl means behaving and getting nice things. We've been working on actions/consequences with her lately. She's been getting away with too much and learning how to play the system. She knows if I'm busy feeding babies, I can't go dragging her butt back to the naughty stool a million times.

So Shawn and I have been trying to focus on following through with her. One warning, and of she doesn't behave, then she gets the consequence. Of course, B is fighting it and she really hates the naughty stool. We may have turned the corner with her...

Yesterday, Bridget had some toys and books scattered around her room. It wasn't in the worst shape it's ever been in, but it was messy. The babies were waking up from a nap, and needed to be fed. I was in B's room with Liam, and I said, "Bridget, could you please pick up your toys?" Usually this provokes the typical, "I DON'T WANNA!" accompanied by foot stomping and throwing whatever object is closest to her. Followed up by me yelling at her and putting her on the naughty stool. This time she just said, "but..."
"Bridget, you're a big girl now, and you know where all your toys go. You can put them away."
"Can you help me?"
"No, I need to feed Holly, Liam and Megan."
"But I don't want to clean up by myself."
"Well, I can't help you. Your brother and sisters are hungry. You can do it. You know where your toys belong."
"Come and get me when your room is all cleaned up."
I really didn't expect her to do much. Maybe she'd only put away her doll house toys, or a few little things. She gets distracted easily, and usually ends up playing with the toys she's supposed to be putting away.

Off I went to feed babies. I couldn't hear Bridget playing in her room, but I also couldn't hear her cleaning up her room. Things were really quiet. Liam and Megan were fed, and I was almost done feeding Holly, when B quietly came to the kitchen. She just stood by the high chair, watching.
"What's up, B? How's your room? Is it all clean?"
"Uh-huh." very unenthusiastically.
"It is?" not believing her "Are you telling the truth?"
"yeeeesss." still very sly.
"If I go look in your room, will it be clean?" Trying to figure out where her loophole is.
"uh-huh!" a bit more excited now.
"Ok, let's go look at your room."
"sure! come on!" and Bridget skips down the hall excitedly. "Come on, Mama! Look at my room!"
So now I'm starting to think she cleaned up something. When I got to her room I was AMAZED! All the doll house accessories were put in the correct place. All the kitchen things were put away. All the dress up clothes were put in the dress up basket under her bed. All her pillows, blankets, and dolls were back up on the bed. Her dirty pajamas were off the floor and in the laundry basket. All her books were on the book shelf. Nothing was left on the floor. I was SHOCKED. I began screaming with delight. "I'm SO proud of you Bridget, I'm very impressed with your room! You did a great job!" etc. etc. I gave her a huge hug. Bridget was beaming with pride. "See Mom! I did it. I did it all by myself! I'm a big girl! I did it."

She ran downstairs to tell Shawn. I think Shawn was pretty stunned that Bridget had cleaned her room on her own too. I had planned to take Bridget to Portillo's for dinner then Target to get some school supplies for Preschool, so I told her my plans. Then Shawn said, "If you continue to behave, after Target, we'll get some ice cream!"

As it turned out, this was the first time the babies have been to a restaurant. We brought two in the double stroller, and carried the third in. We got lots of attention from employees and customers. Most just curious. That's ok, we're getting used to it. Besides the questions, dinner was uneventful. Bridget was well behaved, Megan was asleep, and Liam & Holly just watched the people and drank their bedtime bottles.

After dinner, Shawn decided he'd just walk across the parking lot to Target with the double stroller. I was going to drive the van over with Bridget and Megan. This is where things exploded. B got all upset that Daddy was walking and we were driving. She wanted to walk with Daddy. She began kicking and screaming while I was trying to get her into her car seat. Since we're really focusing on actions/consequences, I warned her that if she didn't stop the bad behavior, we would not get ice cream. Of course she continued to scream and cry and followed that up with a punch to my arm. So that was it, I told her no ice cream. Let the melt down begin. "No Mommy! I want to behave! I want to be a big girl! I want ice cream! I want to behave! Don't take ice cream away! No Mommy, no! I'll be a big girl! I'll behave."

Fortunately, she calmed down by the time we entered Target. Shopping was fine, but when we left, she started up again. By the time we got back home, Bridget had lost bedtime stories, bedtime music, and her doll house. Ugh!

Today, Bridget knew she had to behave to earn her doll house back. She behaved beautifully! She was an angel. She thanked me for taking her to Grandma Joan's house. She told me she had lots of fun there. We had talked about how she COULD have had a nice evening after Portillo's but since she misbehaved, she didn't get to do those nice things.

So after tonight's dinner, I took her to the store and out for ice cream. We talked about how good she was today, and how I enjoyed doing fun things with her when she behaves. I think it is beginning to make sense to her.
She said, "I don't like when the babies cry. It's not fun when they're crying. It just makes me angry sometimes."
I said, "I don't like when YOU cry either. It's not fun when YOU'RE crying."
"Yah" she said. "I don't like crying. I want to be a big girl and behave and get nice things."
"Like ice cream? and shopping with Mama?"

Then she said, "This ice cream is DELICIOUS! The girl made me DELICIOUS ice cream!"
(Two tables of customers turned to look at B when she said that.)

I hope this marks the beginning of the end of the "Trying Threes". Wouldn't that be nice? I need SOME reprieve before having to go through it all again...times three!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Splitting up

Almost anything we do these days requires that our family be split up. It's really frustrating. For instance, Monday, I had a doctor appointment, and Bridget had tumbling at the same time. So Shawn took B, H, and M to tumbling and L and I went to the doctor appointment. Monday afternoon Holly wouldn't take a nap, so Bridget, Holly and I made a quick run to the store. Let me tell with just two kids would be a snap! I threw a diaper and small pack of wipes in my purse, and we were out the door. It was nice only lugging one car seat carrier around. Once at the store, I snapped Holly on the cart and off we went. The whole trip took less than 20 minutes. With all three it takes 20 minutes just getting everyone and everything loaded into the van!

Now Thursday, B has a party at Splash Station for the summer reading program. Sure, we could all go, but all 6 of us couldn't be in the water at one time! It looks like B and I may have to go without Shawn b/c we can't find a sitter for the triplets.

Saturday is Joliet's Kid Fest. That's something that we did with Bridget when she was the triplet's age. But I don't think H, L, M are going to go this year. Again, we'll be split up. Someone will take B while the other stays home with the triplets.

Even the simplest things: going to get ice cream cones on a hot summer night, going to the park, playing in the kiddie pool in the back yard, getting Happy Meals at McDonalds, playing outside, visits to grandma's house...these are the things that the triplets are missing out on because it's so darn difficult to do. So either we split up, and half goes and does things while the other half stays home, or no one does it.

On another note, I have a feeling that Holly is going to be the one we'll make several trips to the ER with. She's such a little dare devil. She keeps pulling up on the gate, but because it's metal and slippery, she loses her grip and falls face first into the gate. She'll pull herself up on almost anything. She especially likes to pull herself up on my legs (when I'm on the floor with her) then she tries to climb up my body until she can grab my face! It's crazy! Yesterday, Liam was laying on the floor, she pulled herself up to standing by using Liam's belly. Then she traveled over to his face and was standing up with support from Liam's head. When she did that, she started laughing, "huh-huh! huh-huh! huh-huh!" It was quite amusing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The babies don't get out of the house much, and we all went out yesterday, so I guess that deserves mentioning.

Shawn & I decided to go to the mall because I needed to pick up photos at Sears. So after an hour of getting everything ready, we load up the van and head out. When we got to Sears, who's in the photo room? Uncle Dave, Aunt Tina, Kaitlyn and Ann! What a nice surprise! Needless to say, Bridget was very excited to see her cousins!

So we let them finish up their photos, and we all decided to have dinner together at Panera Bread. Ugh! Bridget is SO LOUD! We really need to work on that with her. Fortunately there were only a few others eating in, and they didn't seem to mind, but still! Bridget, Kaitlyn, and Ann had fun eating their sandwiches together, and talking about whatever 2, 3, and 4 years olds talk about. Meanwhile, Liam was tired and fussy. He's becoming quite a mama's boy. He screams like a girl when I put him down, and wants me to hold him all the time. Megan and Holly were doing well, drifting off to sleep in their stroller.

After dinner, we went to check out this new mini golf place that opened up in the mall. Glow Golf, 54 holes in one storefront. Kaitlyn was quite disappointed that they could not golf with us, but we made plans to golf together some other time. But as it turned out, we were too late to start golfing. It was too close to closing time.

The Goode's went home, and the 6 of us went to the play area. Bridget burned off some energy and I hit the clearance sale at The Children's Place. I've decided that the only new clothes I'm buying for the triplets would be special occasion outfits and matching/coordinating clothes. They have plenty of hand-me-down clothes through 18 months. I ended up finding quite a bit: matching dresses for Holly and Megan, matching tanks/shorts for Holly and Megan, an outfit for Liam that coordinates with H&M's tank/shorts, another shirt for Liam to go with the girls' dresses, and finally matching onesies for all three. The onesies should fit them soon, and all the other clothes are for next spring/summer. All that for under $40. Not too bad!

So that's our exciting life. A day out is a trip to the mall. I really can't wait for next summer when Holly, Liam and Megan will be in regular car seats, walking, we'll be able to use the quad stroller to contain them, and we'll have more options for family nights out!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What a wonderful weekend!

Well, the Anniversary Adventure is now over but I'll always carry the memories with me...
We headed out shortly after 11 am on Saturday. Karen, Ron and the kids came over to watch BHLM and take them to the Summer Birthday Party later that afternoon. Shawn and I ran into traffic in northern Indiana (no surprise there) so we took a little detour. After a bit, we stopped for lunch which was a big disappointment. We also had to stop at some crazy filthy WalMart because I had developed a huge rash on my leg. So as quickly as possible, I grabbed some Gold Bond cream and Benadryl spray and I got the heck outta that place. Oh yah, I set off the security sensors on the way in and out. When I got back to the car, I remembered that I had my Chris Isaak CD in my purse. I purchased it from his website, and the security tag probably never got deactivated. Oh well, WalMart didn't seem to care much that I set off their sensors TWICE. We then got back to driving, talked, played "would you rather" and ended up rolling into Louisville just about 6 pm local time.

We checked into the Seelbach Hilton, which is this really old hotel, but boy was it beautiful! There were tapestries hanging on the walls, and a really cool little bar (one of the 50 best bars in the world according to the London Independent.). Shawn had mentioned that we were celebrating our anniversary, so we got a room upgrade to a larger room. The "larger room" wasn't very large, b/c this was an old hotel, but still the room was very nice.

We then got ready to go to the concert. Once ready, it was about 7 pm, and the concert started at 8, so we needed to get moving! There was NO way I was going to be late! So we walked to the Brown Theater, which was only a few blocks away. The weather was gorgeous! Cool with a slight breeze. Shawn picked up our tickets at Will Call, then we went off to find a quick bite to eat. We ended up at a small place called the Yafa Cafe, which looked like a dump, but the food was surprisingly good.

Next up: concert! After the mandatory purchasing of CI paraphernalia, we headed to our seats. Now, the Brown Theater is a small theater, which was fine with me. Our seats in Row S, were in the second row from the back. Nice view of the stage.

Finally...the concert began, and it was amazing. The acoustics in the theater were awesome. The people were great (no crazy singing/dancing fools, no stumbling drunks, although people in front of us kept getting up frequently to buy more beer) and I had a really good time.

Some highlights: Chris grabbed a microphone and wandered through the crowd singing "Return To Me" and "Love Me Tender". (That link is not from our concert, but he did pretty much the same routine, and was wearing the same outfit.) At one point he was standing at the end of our row, a mere two seats away from me. My hands were shaking so bad, the photos on my iPhone look like crap. Fortunately, I practically threw our digital camera at Shawn and he took a GREAT shot, right when Chris looked our way. **SIGH** Shawn was laughing his butt off at me b/c I'm sure I was behaving like a 12 year old watching the Jonas Brothers. Oh well. Chris Isaak is my Jonas Brothers. He also played a bunch of songs from his new CD, Mr. Lucky, which was to be expected.

After the concert, we walked to the CVS in Fourth Street Live because Shawn needed some Tums. It was pretty sad, you had to be 21 to get into this area at night, and we didn't even get carded. I guess we're really getting old. After that, we figured we HAD to visit one of the 50 best bars in the world...what was it called? Old Seelbach Bar. That was a really cool place. Shawn really liked the live jazz, although he couldn't stop making fun of the drummer who kinda looked like Lenny from Laverne and Shirley and played the drums like a robot on a kid's drum set.

After a few drinks, we turned in for the night.

The next day, we grabbed a bagel from the Concierge Lounge, before heading to the Louisville Slugger Museum. I couldn't remember when the Museum opened, and Shawn did NOT bring a laptop, so we were a bit disappointed that it would not be opening until noon on Sunday. So we drove along the riverfront, checked out the view, and headed towards home.

I fell asleep, and when I woke up Shawn was pulling into the Edinburgh Premium Outlet stores. Shawn and I separated, and agreed that we'd try to be done shopping in an hour. Impossible! Shawn ended up finding some DVDs, and I found some clothes for the kids, baby Crocs ($5 each!) for the triplets, and a new Coach purse for me. There were some pretty great deals at this mall.

Next up, a quick lunch at Max & Erma's. Then we were stopping till we're home. Yah, right! Shawn needed caffein, and chose to stop at Starbucks for a mocha. No kidding! Every now and then he'll drink a mocha. We ran into some traffic with a posted 40 minute delay and had to detour again. Now, usually Shawn's detours end up taking us an hour longer minimum, but this time, it worked out good. We drove through Kankakee and avoided the northwestern Indiana mess, and it only added 5 minutes to our time. Added bonus: it was a pretty drive. Still lots of cornfields, but much more interesting than the boring interstate scenery.

When we got home, B was excited to see us. Holly and Liam were all smiles too, and Megan was sleeping. Anna did a wonderful job straightening up the house, and even did laundry. (New career, Anna?) I was gone 30 hours, and Megan's tooth broke through! It wasn't even near the gum line when we left! How does that happen? Shawn said it looked like Holly's hair grew a bunch too. I don't know what's up with Liam either. He's Mr. Crabbypants lately. I can't put him down without him SCREAMING like a girl. Anna said he's got green snot. He's not running a temperature. I'm guessing it's a bit of a cold combined with teething and separation anxiety, which according to the "book" is supposed to be kicking in now.

The rest of our evening consisted of playing outside with B. She decided to color her hands with pink chalk then rubbed it all over her face. It looked CRAZY! Liam played in the exersaucer outside while Holly and Megan played inside. Babies were in bed by 7 pm, B was in bed by 8:30, and here we are now.

Overall, it was a very nice, relaxing, fun day and a half for me. Great job, Shawn! Thanks for the BEST anniversary present to date. Can't wait for Hawaii in 3 more years...I'm holding you to that promise.

Thanks to the Vandewiels, Anna, Kathie and John for watching and entertaining our children in our absence. Without all of you, this weekend wouldn't have happened for me.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The big "Anniversary Adventure"

Update 7/18/09: Friday, Shawn spilled the beans...we're going to see Chris Isaak in concert in Louisville. I knew it! My post below had several song titles hidden in it. They are now in bold print. Can't wait! :-)

So, I know at least 2 of you are in on the great "anniversary adventure", but for the others, let me tell you about it.

I believe it was maybe a week to 10 days ago that Shawn said, "For our anniversary I could get you the new iPhone 3G-S or a really cool adventure. You choose." Well, since this was going to be an anniversary gift, I figured we should probably do something together, so I chose the adventure.
"We're going away then. Be ready to go on Saturday the 18th." That was about all he'd say, he wouldn't talk to me anymore about it.
I asked, "Who's going to watch the kids?" he said, "It's all taken care of."
I asked, "Who's going to take the kids to the Summer Birthday party?" he said, "It's all taken care of."
I asked, "Where are we going?" he said, "You'll have to wait and see."
I said, "What about the Tupperware party I'm supposed to go to on Sunday." Shawn had nothing to say about that.
"What should I wear? I have to know what to pack." he said, "Nothing too fancy."

Since the initial shock of it all, the only other thing Shawn's said is, "I'm not sure if it's going to involve an airplane yet."

So he's gotten me thinking. I wonder where Shawn would take me that HE thought I would really like? Two places came to mind quickly, but over the next two days, those places didn't seem quite right. Then I was listening to my iPod, and remembering a very specific conversation that Shawn and I had one day, and I had another idea. It had all come together and I had figured him out!

I went online to verify my suspicions, and yep, I'm 100% sure I know where we're going and what we're doing. Shawn thinks there's no way I figured it out, but he underestimates me this time, and overestimates his slyness!

Sorry, you'll have to wait until Saturday to see if I'm right. I got a plan in mind to prove to Shawn that I know where we're headed.

I'll be documenting our anniversary adventure on Facebook, so FB friends keep checking for updates.

To Kristi, Allison, Morgan and Ann...sorry I can't make it to your birthday parties. Bridget, Holly, Liam and Megan will be there. I hope you all like your gifts! Please have a very Happy Birthday, and I love you all!

For now, I'll be waiting till Saturday. It's almost 11 pm and I'm not sleepy...Saturday can't get here fast enough!

Monday, July 6, 2009

New Photos.

The new family photo.

Click the link to My Mobile Me Gallery at the right to view other photos from this photo shoot.

Free Redbox Rental Today only

Here's a new code for a free Redbox rental today, Monday, July 6, 2009 only.


Offer expires at midnight. Return your DVD to any Redbox by 9 pm tomorrow.

Enjoy the show!