Sunday, November 30, 2008

Birthday Suits One Week Too Early

We have budding nudists in our house. Tanner and Noel love to take off their pants, but Tanner takes it a step further and also removes his diaper.

You would think -- easy solution, put them in overalls! Welp, worked for Noel, but Tanner still figured out a way to get his diaper off. Remember that scene in Zoolander where during a runway ''walk-off'' to determine the better man, Hansel defeats Zoolander by removing his own underwear without taking his pants? That's kinda what Tanner does to get his diaper off. It would be really funny if it wasn't my kid doing it.

So, we are thinking duct tape is in our future.
Nah, just kidding ... probably more like this.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Last Nice Day in Fall

We took advantage of the nice weather -- probably the last of the season -- and took the boys out back to our playset for one last ride in their swings. They have definitely outgrown them and we will be moving onto "big boy" swings next Spring.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Festival of Lights

Our zoo has a great tradition of decorating the entire zoo with Christmas lights and displays during the holiday season. They stay open until 9pm, and it is beautiful! I couldn't wait to take the boys. We had a blast with Nana Jo!

The boys were amazingly well behaved and left their hats and gloves on (even though it was only in the mid-40s). They all stayed in the choo choo, and were very excited to see Frosty, Rudolph, and Gingerbread people. This was great because I hated any big character costume people as a kid -- my Mom loves to tell the story of how I screamed and hid from Mickey Mouse when at Disney World.

Hayden climbing on the spiderweb at the Children's Zoo

The boys meet Frosty (Noel loved Frosty)

Rudolph stopped by our choo choo

Mr. & Mrs. Gingerbread say hi

The boys enjoy a ginerbread cookie (how ironic) by the Christmas tree

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I realize at some point, the boys will have to learn the word "No" and then stop their current action be it climbing into the bathtub fully clothed, hugging kitty, or pulling out every pot and pan from my cabinets.

Our house is so baby-proofed it could be a mock up for a Parents magazine -- from door locks to toilet locks to cabinet locks to baby gates. We have eleven baby gates in our house -- eleven! That is INSANE.

We even created a "baby jail" to contain them in the family room. But alas, my young men have become future mountain climbers (or escape artists) and have figured out how to climb over the gates that keep them safe and keep me sane. This is no small feat.
Unfortunately, their ability to climb over the gates comes at the same time as they have learned to unlock the "child-proof" cabinets and door locks we spend a gazillion dollars on. So, after we caught Tanner running around with a pizza cutter, Dan and I are now doing our part to help the economy and investing in magnetic tot locks.

So, Jess, if you are reading this, the gates are yours if you still want them! If your boys are like ours, they should last you until the kiddos are two!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Four Generations

My boys are so blessed to not only have two grandmothers in their lives, but they also have a GREAT-grandmother, too!

I won't tell you what age my great-grandmother is, but let me tell you -- hope I have her genes when it comes to aging gracefully!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Gonna Put On ... My Funky Shoes!

Noel was born with a unilateral clubfoot. Actually, so was I. And so were a lot of famous athletes -- Troy Aikman, Kristi Yamaguchi, Mia Hamm, and Charles Woodson to name a few.

Noel's clubfoot wasn't that severe and we started treating it right away while he was still in the NICU. We went through a whole series of casts and ugly orthopedic shoes with a steel bar in between, and now he as a straight and beautiful foot! All we had to do is put his sneakers on the wrong feet (banana feet, we call it) to help keep his foot from turning in.
Casting for 3 months

Ugly orthopedic shoes and the even uglier steel bar

Ah, yes ... you smart readers, you noticed I said "had" in that last sentence. We had our regular follow-up ortho appointment last week. After a series of x-rays and doctors pulling and rotating Noel's foot all over the place, they very very happy about how his foot looks now. I was beaming and put out my hands to accept the "Mother of the Year" award for making my child go through so much crap to have this nice looking foot.

The doctors left me empty handed. Instead they told me that between the ages of 2-3 years old is when club foot has the greastest chance of regression. SO, they want to put Noel in another pair of shoes at night. These shoes are much nicer and softer, but they still have that dang steel bar.

The new, less ugly, more sci-fi looking shoes with that dang steel bar

The steel bar makes you have to move both legs together at the same time -- you cannnot sleep on your side or your stomach. The steel bar makes sleeping very, very unpleasant. So I did a bunch of research and found a new bar that allows the legs to independently to allow better sleeping. I contacted our doctor's office who approved it for Noel AND I got our insurance company to cover it, too -- the moons and stars must have been in alignment!

The better bar in action

The sci-fi shoes and better bar have been ordered and should be here by Christmas. Fa-la-la-la-la, someone pass the eggnog ... and make it a double!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Moment of Silence, Please

Let us all bow our heads, in shame, after the defeat of the Wolverines to their arch enemies, the Ohio State Buckeyes.

I mean, c'mon -- your mascot is a tree nut? How threatening is that? Fact of the matter… a buckeye is a tree that produces a distinctive nut. Buckeyes are also a very delicious chocolate and peanut butter candy that look similar to the nut. Does that strike fear in your heart?

I'll probably get hunted down for speaking ill of Ohio State. If you live in Ohio, you are required by law to cheer for Ohio State. If you don't live in Ohio, the only way I can describe Ohio State football to you is this -- it is like MTV Spring Break every single weekend, but with ten times the violence and fifty times the mace. If Ohio State wins, everyone sets their own couches on fire in the middle of the street. If Ohio State loses, you may find your car resting on it's roof the morning after. In other words, it doesn't matter what the result of the game is -- if it's football Saturday, your life and property are in imminent danger.

The only redeeming aspect of Ohio State football is the song "Hang on Sloopy" where everyone gets up and spells out O-H-I-O on the chorus. People use their arms to spell it out -- this is my favorite picture as an example. It includes "Big Butter Jesus" as the "H" (no need to explain for all of you Bob & Tom listeners or Haywood Banks fans.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gram & Grandpa & Uncle Chris Visit!

Okay ... I finally had time to download some pictures from our fun visit with Dan's side of the family last weekend. Hayden, Tanner, & Noel had a great time visiting and playing with everyone.

Unfortunately, we were still snotified, so the visit included an adventure to the Pediatrician's office and a round of antibiotics for all. We also stayed house-bound since the boys weren't feeling well. That was fine with the kiddos as they loved the extra attention and one-on-one time they got with their grandparents and uncle. The men all went to the Bengals-Eagles game on Sunday, so the boys got some additional quality bonding time with Gram!

We also tried to do pictures during that weekend ... like, real pictures. The kind you would frame or use for Christmas cards. Yeah ... it didn't go really well. They boys just did not feel good and were not willing to smile or even sit still. It was a rough patch in an otherwise very smooth weekend.

So, here are the best of the best pictures (no, unfortunately I'm not kidding):

Hayden (check out this GQ pose)

Tanner (he wants YOU ... to wipe his nose)

Noel (can you photo shop out boogers?)

Gram and Grandpa with the boys (check out how great and composed they look even with the boys screaming bloody murder and getting snot all over them)

Uncle Chris and the boys (unfortunately, I think the boys had it by this point)

I know I was cooked (lovely shot, isn't it? Thanks, Dan! YP!!!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Toys R Us has thrown up in our basement

"We have TOO MANY TOYS!"

This is what I tell myself everytime I find another really, super-cool toy for the boys. I tell myself this in the hopes that I will NOT buy another toy. Yeah, doesn't work.

Here's just a small sampling of what we have already set up in the basement BEFORE birthday and Christmas gifts come out. Oy VAY!!!!

What kind of Mom would I be if I didn't have a Target shopping cart
for them to push each other around in?

And who doesn't have a giant LeapFrog in their basement?

And you can't just get the Learn and Play House without the Learn and Play Garden and the Learn and Play Mailbox, right, right?

A Step 2 Roller Coaster to help facilitate holes being put into our basement drywall is a must!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

We got a haircut ...

... actually, we got them all cut. (That's Dan's favorite joke ... I know, I know.)

They always look so grown-up after haircuts. -- kinda makes me sad. They usually do well when getting a haircut -- and they love the slide at the place we get them done at plus they get to watch Elmo's World DVD. Hayden and Noel were in good spirits, but Tanner had some issues.




Hayden enjoying the slide (doesn't this look like a James Bond shot?)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Noel caught with his pants down ...

Quite literally. Noel and Tanner have started to explore become nudists. We have found keeping their shoes and socks on help prevent them from totally disrobing.

But, alas, Noel has acquired the quite useful skill of learning to walk with his pants around his ankles. Grrreat ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We have a cake!

I have decided on a cake for the boy's 2nd birthday. It was a close battle, but choo-choo won out! We are going to make the cake ourselves, so hopefully we won't end up on Cake Wrecks!

The winner ... "Choo Choo Choo, We're Turning TWO!!!"

First runner up in the event the winner cannot fulfill it's obligation of being yummy and cute ... "Life is a Barrel of Monkeys"

Honorable Mention ... "Elmo's World"

Monday, November 17, 2008


Yeah, yeah ... it's been a week since my last post. Okay, here are my top three excuses:

1) I've been so BUSY at work it has been ridiculous. I swear, the stories I could tell ... but, I don't want to end up like that flight attendant and get fired for writing about work on my blog. Let's just say that it was quite the week.

2) Snot ... and LOTS of it! The boys are snot-making machines. We've been to the pediatrician three times and have been on two different antibiotics. No change in the flow of snot -- nothing, nada, zilch, zip! A little statistics for you:
The proportion of snot you child has in his nose is directly and inversely related to the amount of sleep you get in a night ... times three

3) Out of Town Guests. Dan's parents and brother came out for a long weekend visit. The boys had so much fun with their grandparents and uncle! I have some fabulous pictures ... that I need to still download from the camera (told ya I'm a slacker) ... but I'll try and get them up soon!

I'll be back soon, loyal readers.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Advent Conspiracy

At the bottom of my blog I have added a fabulous video for you to watch -- if you choose. (Please ignore the other videos at the end -- I had to pirate this off another site since most computers would not download an flv. file).

What happened to Christmas? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, traffic jams, and shopping lists. And when it's all over, many of us are left with presents to return, looming debt that will take months to pay off, and this empty feeling that we somehow missed its purpose.

Is this what we really want out of Christmas?

What if Christmas became a world-changing event again by turning our focus back to the birth of Christ? What could happen to your family if this focus was celebrated in loud, bold and totally unexpected ways? What if you could actually trade your season of stress for a season celebration and unbelievable memories with your friends and family? What if all of this could save a life at the same time? It can.

Because Christmas can still change the world. This year, give presence.

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's a Hoe-Down, Y'all!

Is it messing to eat out at a restaurant with the boys? Nah, as long as you don't take them to a BBQ-style restaurant. Oh wait ...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

"101 Things About Me"

Here I go, participating in every blogger's right of passage, the "100 Things About Me" post. I honestly can't think of anything more self-serving than taking the time to make one of these lists, yet I read them on every blog I visit!

It's supposed to be a free flow of thoughts. You start with one fact about yourself and then cascade from there. It was a pretty interesting experiment. And to personalize it, I made it "101 Things About Me".

1. I was born in New York
2. On an air force base
3. My Dad was a pilot
4. He flew in Vietnam and Desert Shield
5. It terrifies me to think about my boys having to go to war
6. I have three sons
7. They are fraternal triplets
8. I know, isn’t that cool?
9. All of their middle names have special meaning
10. Tanner’s is Allen which is Dan’s middle name
11. Noel’s is Austin which is my grandfather’s name AND Dan’s grandmother’s maiden name
12. Hayden’s is Miller which is my maiden name
13. I really miss my maiden name sometimes
14. Everyone calls me by my last name (since it is also a typical girl’s first name)
15. It really bugs me when they do that
16. And speaking of bugs, ladybugs are invading my house
17. I coached a dance team who’s mascot was the ladybug
18. The team won Nationals the year I coached them
19. I still have the gold medal
20. I don’t coach anymore, but I judge dance teams
21. I’m in my 14th year of judging
22. That makes me feel old
23. I danced in high school and on both of my college dance teams
24. I still find myself making up routines and dancing
25. I love to dance with my boys
26. Except when we are watching weird shows like Yo Gabba Gabba
27. Have you seen that show?
28. It’s like people made a show for kids after dropping some serious acid
29. “There’s a party in my tummy – so yummy, so yummy yummy!”
30. I love food – cooking it, eating it … eating it
31. I used to make such great meals, now I live and die by my crock pot
32. I also really watch our food budget, too, so that pars down our meal creations
33. I’m really good at coupons and savings
34. I mean really good
35. I consider it a failure if I have not saved at least 35% on each shopping bill
36. So, I’m feeding a family of five for about $500/month
37. Yup, that includes diapers, beauty, and even Noel’s high calorie drinks
38. It’s like my hobby to save
39. I have clothed the boys mostly in second hand or season-clearance items
40. Is it a problem when they greet you by name at Goodwill?
41. I think it is a bigger problem when all I have had to eat today is a Diet Pepsi and leftover Halloween candy.
42. I’m pretty busy at work
43. Though I do love my job
44. Would I work if I didn’t have to?
45. No – I feel kinda like that guy in Office Space
46. That’s a great movie … “Hi, Peter. What's happening. We need to talk about your TPS reports.”
47. Actually, I’ve had some pretty fun jobs
48. I was a lifeguard in high school
49. I interned at the Cincinnati Zoo in college
50. I was a flight attendant
51. I was a restaurant health inspector
52. Then I took some no-brains and went back to school for my MBA
53. And now I’m here at the school district
54. It’s a huge jump from my undergraduate degree in Zoology
55. I had a good time in college
56. Too good of a time
57. My freshman year I won Sigma Chi Derby Days
58. I won a keg tossing award Homecoming Weekend my senior year
59. I think the only night I didn’t go out to the bars was Tuesdays
60. My parents bought me my first legal shot on my 21st birthday
61. I blame my sorority sisters
62. After college, I never had a roommate again
63. I really liked being independent and on my own
64. Maybe it’s because I was an only child
65. Maybe it is because I am OCD and don’t like things to be out of place
66. And roommates move things out of place
67. Unfortunately, two year olds move things out of place
68. Still, I think I’m much more flexible than I was before the boys
69. I don’t think Dan would think I more flexible than I was before the boys
70. I mean in terms of organization – get your minds out of the gutters!
71. I’m so lucky to have a husband that loves me for me
72. He’s my lobster
73. I still like to get back into better shape
74. I’d love to run the Flying Pig Marathon this spring
75. I have no idea when I could train for it
76. Still, it’s an item on my Bucket List
77. I have a bucket full of leftover Halloween candy on my desk
78. I so do love Butterfingers
79. I’m so glad the boys don’t have any allergies to food
80. I’m allergic to bees, and I really hope the boys don’t get that gene of mine
81. I hope the boys get Dan’s genes for straight teeth
82. My mouth was jacked up as kid
83. I do, however, hope they get my genes for great eye sight
84. Dan is blind as a bat
85. He does wear contacts
86. I don’t think I could wear contacts and touch my eye ball everyday
87. It kinda freaks me out
88. So do spiders
89. I think that is weird considering that I would wrap HUGE boa constrictors around me when I interned at the zoo
90. I am definitely an animal lover
91. I got to release a red-tailed hawk a couple years back
92. He had been shot in the wing and went through rehab
93. I don’t understand why people hunt for “sport”
94. My undergraduate school mascot is now the Red Hawks
95. They changed it after I graduated under political pressure
96. I thought that was really dumb since we still have professional sports teams with names that are not p.c.
97. It worries me that this country is so divided politically
98. So many people can’t see middle ground, only black or white
99. My favorite color is grey
100. Well, grey and pink
101. I’m such a girlie-girl

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oh, so NOW you like to wear hats?

Why, oh why, could you have not been so happy to wear a hat on Halloween when Mommy had beyond-cute costumes for you to wear? Sigh ..

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's like the County Fair at our house!

Yup -- that's Hayden woofing down a "pancake-wrapped sausage on a stick". Please notice that I tried to balance this meal with fresh fruit, real pumpkin bread, and milk.

Honestly, I have a reason for giving this breakfast equivalent to a deep-fried Twinkie to my children!

We have been told by our Feeding Team specialists that we need to work on taking bites with the boys. Right now they just cram everything in their mouth. If it is not cut up into bite-size pieces, it all goes in at once. Strip of toast, PB&J triangle, string cheese -- they shove it all in a one time. As you can imagine, this creates chipmunk cheeks and sometime causes choking -- good times, good times.

So, I'm on the lookout for things to practice taking bites from and are impossible to shove completely in your mouth. (We've been doing bananas, but the boys are getting bored with that fruit at every meal.) Low and behold, we were at Sam's the other day and miracles upon miracles, they were sampling a new Jimmy Dean item -- pancake sausage on a stick! Hmmm, you can bite it ... it is too big to put in your mouth at one time ... and it is on a stick -- PERFECT!

So far, so good! Noel and Hayden did a great job taking bites from their breakfast meal abomination (our vegan Tanner doesn't eat meat -- don't ask).

I think Feeding Team will be proud!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Enjoying the Fall Weather

Just a couple of pictures of us enjoying the fall weather ... can you believe it is 75 degrees in November? It's a good thing there is no such thing a global warming or we'd be in trouble!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Okay -- Now Prove It

I hesitated in posting anything about the election here because Dan and I are in the minority with our friends and family (except my parents) when it comes to which candidate we voted for yesterday, but I couldn't sleep last night after the election results were revealed.

Let me back up -- I voted for Obama. I was undecided for a LONG time. Why? Because I LOVED John McCain -- heck, I even voted for him in the 2000 primary.

I did a TON of research before I voted. C'mon -- you know me. I'm Type A, OCD ... I don't do anything without tons of planning and forethought.

I loved the old John McCain who stood up for his convictions and beliefs and did fight for what was right, not what was popular. The new John McCain is a completely different man than the John McCain I voted for eight years ago.

In my humble opinion, he sold his soul to the ubber-conservative right wing to win the primary. And unfortunately, I find myself not having the same principles as he now holds.

Still, even after all this research, I was STILL voting McCain. I had faith that maybe the real McCain would come back once in power.

And then ... he choose Palin as a running mate. Done deal -- she turned the Straight Talk Express into a clown car.

Seriously ... you are for abstinence education but you can't even teach it in your own house? You are good with foreign policy because Russia is close to Alaska -- and you don't even know what the Bush Doctrine is? You are an expert on energy when only 3.5% of the nation's total energy comes from your state? You didn't build the bridge to nowhere, but you certainly kept the money and then asked for more to build a road to nowhere. You are found responsible for abuse of power in office by a republican-lead investigation committee, but you still say you have good executive experience? You don't even know what the vice president does -- in charge of the senate? ... open a history book.

So, I did not -- could not -- vote for McCain.

I did not vote the way I did because it was the popular thing to do, or because I wanted to make history, or because I really think change is possible no matter what person takes office in January.

Which brings me back to my original dilemma and the fitful night of sleep -- we are so far down the rabbit hole that I don't even see light at the end of the tunnel anymore. However, now we have the same party in power in the executive branch and the legislative branch. This makes me a little nervous on two fronts.

First, I'm a big believer in checks and balances and when a party has control of the White House and Congress, it makes me cringe. I do take some relief that neither the Senate or the House has a supermajority giving veto-proof margins.

Second, with control of the White House and Congress, the Democratic Party better put up or shut up. No excuses -- I expect results, and if I don't see them, they will not get my vote next time around. Will everything be solved overnight or even in four years? Nah ... but I better see some serious forward progress.

On final note ... For months and months Republicans have been saying that we all have to respect and support the President, even if we don't like him or agree with him. Well, that statement is a two-way street -- using that same logic, I expect every Republican to respect and support Obama even though they don't like him or agree with him.

I was humbled by John McCain's concession speech last night where he asked everyone to work with Obama. And I was happy to hear that Obama personally called McCain to ask him to help lead the country through change during the next four years. Maybe we really are moving past "politics as usual".

We all want the best for American and for our children. I hope we can all come together to make that dream a reality.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Getting the Kiddos to Eat Vegetables

Okay -- I'm going to make a lot of you jealous. My boys LOVE vegetables. In fact, one of Noel's favorite things to eat is broccoli, Tanner loves hummus on wheat thins, and Hayden can clear a serving of sweet potatoes off his plate faster than I can reserve them! Aren't they cool kids?

Still, there are times I need to get more veggies in them. I tried out two new "hidden veggie" recipes this week that were devoured by the boys. Jessica Seinfield, eat your heart out!

Zucchini Rounds (makes 12 rounds)

1/3 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 cups unpared shredded zucchini
2 tablespoons butter

In mixing bowl, stir together Bisquick, cheese, and pepper. Stir in beaten eggs just till mixture is moistened. Fold in zucchini.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Using 2 tablespoons mixture for each round, cook four rounds at a time about 2-3 minutes on each side or till brown.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Apples, & Honey (makes 6 servings)
One 2 pound, 8 ounce can sweet potatoes in syrup, drained
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chunky applesauce

In a large microwave-safe bowl, mash the sweet potatoes with a fork. Stir in the honey, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the applesauce. Cover the bowl then microwave on high for 3-5 minutes, stirring once midway through.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sharing Revisited

I think we are getting better with the sharing thing!

Check it out -- we had Smartfood Popcorn for snack the other day, and Noel was actually feeding Hayden from his precious pile of goodness ...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Kingdom of IKEA

On Saturday, we decided to head on up to IKEA. We are in desperate need for new toy storage option for the basement, and Pottery Barn is not quite in the budget during this fun roller coaster ride we call the stock market these days. So, we packed up the kiddos and were off.

This was our first venture to IKEA -- if you haven't been, wear sneakers because this place is HUGE! It was very fun to go around and look at all the neat furniture and stuff they have there. Still, if I had to pick furniture to last awhile, I still think I would do Ethan Allen or Pottery Barn. (Maybe it is because my Saab kept having maintenance issues even after I just had it into the shop, but I just don't trust Swedish engineering.) Still, for basic storage options, it looks like IKEA is the way to go!

We were there about 2 hours, and by the end, the boys were getting antsy. So, we went down to the large furniture pick-up area and let Hayden pull the choo-choo around for awhile.

I swear, if this boy does not get a full scholarship to play linebacker in college football, I'll be shocked. Seriously, he is pulling about a good 60-70 pounds of weight here!

All three boys feel asleep on the way home. Now, why they can fall asleep during a 20 minutes car ride from 11:00am-11:30am, but they can't fall asleep on an 8 hour car ride from 7:00pm -3:00am is one of the world's biggest mysteries.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Halloween In Bizzaro World

We had two Halloweens this year -- regular ole Halloween were we tortured our boys and made them dress as (gasp!) bears, and our triplet club Halloween were I had them dress up as puppies ... no, cows ... no, puppies! Aurrrgghhhh! (Sorry, obscure Monty Python reference.)

Anyway, here's the story. I had three 101 Dalmatians costumes, two with red collars that said "101 Dalmatians" and one without the collar. So, to not have one have boy be different, I cut all the collars off. And without the collars, I think the costumes look more like cows. So, you decide: puppies or cows. Oh yeah ... remember the whole "I don't want to wear my bear head" thing? Yeah ... happened again with the puppy-cow outfits.

By the way, there were over 197 people at my triplets club Halloween party, so we are out there ... and are looking to take over the world! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Tanner pitching a fit over the cow-puppy head ...

Hayden spent the whole party on the slide ...

While Tanner never got off the swing ...

Noel played house with a set of girl triplets (at least they weren't playing doctor) ...
And our "best" family picture of the day (sigh) ...