Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Pity Party

We finally got around to buying a big pumpkin to carve with the boys over the weekend.
I sometimes feel like we are such slacker parents. It's so hard to do the "traditional" things that singleton parents do with their kids. Carving a pumpkin would seem like a simple thing to do if you didn't have six hands trying to get into the same pumpkin at the same time.

Why not have three pumpkins you say? Because that would need three adults (think sharp knives, pumpkin guts being thrown, etc) ... and last time I checked there was just Dan and me.
I commented to Dan the other day on how bad I feel sometimes that I think the boys get shafted because we can't take the time to do one on one activities with each boy as much as we want to. He twisted this around into that I was feeling more sorry for myself than I was the boys. To which I promptly fumed and sulked because I operate under the theory that EVERYTHING I do is for my boys without any thought to myself.

But he is probably right on some level.

I do have a pity party for myself in regards to the boys every once in awhile.
I think every parent of multiples has those times when you think what would it be like to have just one baby at a time. Just one baby to nurse ... to hold ... to share adventures with ... to read books with.

Having multiples of the same age is very different than having multiple children of different ages. All three of the boys need the same kind of attention and time commitment NOW! With different ages, I would suspect that you could give attention to the younger one while the older one plays independently ... and conversely, while the younger one naps, it is the older one's turn for attention and one-on-one time. That's the kind of set-up that makes me jealous -- even angry -- sometimes.

Yes, we take the boys out individually and have "Mommy Time" or "Daddy Date", but it is not the same thing. One or two hours of alone time does not make up for the countless hours where they have a three-way fight for attention.
But this worry is probably all in my mind.

The boys seem to be okay with sharing Mommy and Daddy. They even take turns sitting on our lap while reading books. The other night after I finished a bedtime story with Hayden, he got off my lap and proudly said, "Noel's turn!".

I love that they share and take turns.

It just breaks my heart that they have to ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Patch ... Take Two!

The boys asked to go back to "the park with the pumpkins" this weekend. So, Dan and I obliged and took them to a different pumpkin farm in our area called Shaw Farms. We had gone last year as well, and had a good time.

Shaw Farms is right on a major road, so we were very relieved to find that they had put up a fence between the kid's activity area and the road this year. Last year was a little stressful without that fence.

The boys had a good time exploring all the pumpkin displays and decorations. They were moving so fast it was hard to get a picture, plus it was really muddy so I was trying to grab boys before they became little mud men. Here are the best I could get.

Tanner and "the Moochie cat!"

Hayden says, "Hello, Witch! Bye, Witch -- I'm off to work!"

Noel flirting with Fred Flintstone -- who doesn't he flirt with?

Tanner hanging out of the pumpkin saying, "Cheeeeeeeeeese!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

NTR -- Moab, Utah

A totally NTR (non-triplet related) post! My cousin, Dasch, finally took the plunge this past weekend and got married! Woo Hoo!

Yes, this is them actually rafting down the Colorado River after their beach wedding ceremony. How freakin' cool is that? Don't you love that she is the one rowing?

Dasch and Megan got married in Moab, Utah. And if you haven't been -- GO! This place was beautiful. I could have spend hours hiking the arches and red cliffs ... and I'm not exactly what you call the outdoorsy type!

And I think I found the perfect for us to stay once the boys are old enough to enjoy such a vacation. Check out the Red Cliffs Lodge. Does this place rock or what?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pumpkin Festival

On Sunday, we went to Burger Farms Pumpkin Festival. We had been to this festival last year and loved it, so we were looking forward to going back again this year! We were not disappointed!

The boys definitely measured up!

Noel made sure we knew that this was a ghost and that ghosts say, "Boo!"

We had fun finding our way around the hay bale maze!

Noel made a new friend!

And we all had fun on the hayride to the pumpkin patch!

At the pumpkin patch, we got to drive a tractor and make new scarecrow friends!

We all found a pumpkin that was just our size!

We ended our day by driving a 4-wheeler. Some of us learned to steer quicker than others!

Monday, October 5, 2009

For Parents Only

* The Following Material Is for Parents of Small Children Only and Otherwise Incomprehensible if Not Offensive to Others

I take an interest in my child's viewing habits. For all my earlier promises to myself that I'd limit her TV watching time to like--half an hour a day--that has been a hard policy to enforce. Denying a 2 year old when her lip starts to tremble and her face crumples, a look of utter betrayal in her eyes as she implores me: "Da Da? I want Backyardigans!" has proven to be too much for me.It's edumacational anyways, right?
Plus, I really like THE BACKYARDIGANS. I find the adventures of Pablo, Austin, Tasha, Tyrone and Uniqua thrilling. It looks unlike anything else on kiddie TV, the characters (animated with the help of live action dancer choreographers) move differently than any other brightly animal colored characters you've ever seen. The backgrounds are eerily wonderful and atmospheric--like Grand Theft Auto without the dead prostitutes and chain saws. The music, by former Lounge Lizard Evan Lurie is quirky, catchy, creative and ever changing. In brief, each episode begins with the five (sometimes only four) characters playing in their adjacent suburban backyards. A theme is struck..they wander into an episode- long fantasy world. At some point in the story, one of the characters' stomachs will begin to growl. A snack is suggested. Whatever beautifully designed world of the imagination they're in dissolves around them as the friends rush the few steps home for a snack. I actually experience a frisson as the walls of a medieval castle, windswept beach, Mount Olympus-- whatever world the little friends occupy that week--dissolve around them, the trappings of a suburban backyard reassembling itself as they toddle inside for cookies.
On the other hand, I resent that the painfully animated WONDER PETS has an unholy grip on my daughter's affections. And I count the days until she tires of these cloyingly cute little cut outs, seemingly reassembled and animated from scraps of magazine photographs. Is it possible to hate an animated character? Personally hate them? Because my loathing for guinea-pig Linnie and turtle Tuck is exceeded only by my fervent hope that one of these days, the disgustingly cute duckling, "Ming-Ming" will get sucked into a lawnmower or a fan, ending her reign of terror over my household. And if my little girl grows up pronouncing her "l"s as "w"s--as the disgusting Ming Ming insists on doing in a misguided attempt at cuteness? I will hunt down the producers of this show and do them terrible violence.
I love YO GABBA GABBA. I don't care what you say, DJ Lance, Muno, Broby, Foofa, Toodie and Plex have taught my daughter many valuable lessons--like the desirability of napping, for one. Not to throw objects at Daddy's skull. Not biting. The value of "trying again" and "not giving up." All set to surprisingly weird, offbeat songs which--in another venue and with other lyrics, one might find oneself enjoying at a club. They get good indie bands as guests, and Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO is a regular. I know every song and every lyric by heart.
BLUE'S CLUES I can take or leave. I do greatly prefer the episodes hosted by "Steve" to the ones featuring the seemingly overplucked and man-scaped "Joe". BLUE'S ROOM, a cynical brand expansion of the original show--with puppets--sucks. Blue's charm in the original was that she didn't talk. In BLUE'S ROOM she does. To ill effect.
All parents must, sooner or later, come to terms with DORA THE EXPLORER and her alleged "cousin", DIEGO. I've always found their relationship suspicious at best. And who is this kid, Diego, anyway? Where are his parents? How does he get to run around unsupervised in the jungle? And isn't he too young to have a driver's license? If not--then he's certainly too goddamn old to be hanging out with Dora!! I do like the "Rescue Pack" song, however. And my daughter's affection for these kissin' cousins is unwavering. So much so that I brought her to see Dora "Live" at Radio City--which is to throw oneself into a Skittle scented mosh pit filled with thousands and thousands of screaming kids and their mothers. At every appearance of the rascally fox, "Swiper", the walls shake like a high-pitched Nuremberg rally of sticky children , screaming "SWIPER NO SWIPING" in unison--as avidly as any cries of "Duce!" or worse. But...there's no arguing with true love. All kids love Dora and Diego--and the sooner we resign ourselves to that, the easier it'll go for us.

I like OSWALD just fine. LITTLE BILL is kinda charming and sweet--and relentlessly teaches good values. I"m okay with MAGGIE AND THE FEROCIOUS BEAST. That spider show is pretty cool.
I like NI HAO KAI LAN because my daughter loves it--and because any show that teaches her Mandarin is probably a good thing--preparing her for the day that this will be the language of our future masters. I like that Kai Lan's Granpa, "Ye-Ye" is always cooking dumplings. Not so crazy about Kai Lan's little friend Toli. He strikes me as a maladjusted, whining little shit--always acting out in hopes of getting special attention and sympathy. She should drop that little koala **** until they adjust his meds and hang out more with her tiger friend Rintu--or the more outgoing and well adjusted Ho-Ho. Every episode that Kai Lan persists in enabling her deeply disturbed, panda-obsessed, passive-aggressive little friend only teaches her impressionable audience that just pouting long enough will get you what you want. Time for tough love for Toli.
LAZYTOWN? This show totally creeps me out. In this candy colored ode to eugenics, live action "Sporticus" matches wits with the malevolent "Robbie Rotten" among various puppets in a stylized village populated by a credulous and generally helpless populace of Untermenschen, all of whom look to their blimp-dwelling hero as their unelected leader. "Sporticus" is played by millionaire areobic champion and owner of an Icelandic gym franchise--who also produces, directs, designs the puppets--according to the credits, there's nothing he doesn't do--and the message, constantly reinforced throughout every episode is that the answer to all life's problems is relentless exercise, narcissistic exhibitionism--personified by muscle flexing, gratuitous displays of aerobics, and taking credit for everything. We are all helpless bivalves, waiting for a well-cut Uber Man to rescue us in Lazytown. It's a textbook showcase for apparent pathological narcissism. I find the show creepy and somehow...evil. Exactly how, I'm not sure yet. But I keep my kid away from it like caustic drain cleaner.
There's no keeping her away, however, from the bombardment of promos and songs from the painful and excrutiating industry created entity known as the "FRESH BEAT BAND." At the end of every other Nick Jr. or Noggin show, for the last few months, they've been pounding us silly, trying to introduce audiences to the music and antics of this hyperactively peppy music and dance group. Until a few weeks ago, they were being touted as the "JUMPAROUNDS" --then, perhaps, some office wag was overheard referring to them as the "ReachArounds" and a sudden name change was instituted over night--as if the previous campaign had never occured. (Causing, no doubt, untold psychological damage and confusion to their young, vulnerable fans). Not to be too cruel--but one of the "kids" in this bunch looks like a 32 year old masquerading as a teen. The lead "singer" (meaning, I gather, he moves his lips obligingly when called upon to do so) has the dead eyes of a man at the end of his string. The "rapper", a tall, gawky young man, throws himself into his moves with the urgency of someone who wants never to fill another fixin's bar--whatever the cost to his soul. It's a genuinely uncomfortable mash up of "street" affectations, "grown up" moves from MTV,and adults and children --that feels (to me, anyway) sleazy and exploitative. I fear the worst. That my daughter will love it.

While Miley and the Jonas Brothers--with any luck--will be in rehab or jail by the time my little girl is at the target age for their brand of hijinks, these FRESH BEAT creatures have me worried.

Plargarized from because it is too darn funny -- and sadly, true -- not to share! (I added the pictures in case you haven't been forced to sit through hours of Noggin with a toddler lately.)