Sunday, September 17, 2017

First Day of 1st Grade!

The boys started back to school a couple weeks ago. They are again together in the same class. It's a bummer because most of their good friends were assigned to the other 1st grade class. The boys don't seem to mind though. Their new teacher seems nice although I haven't spoken but a few words to her in the chaos of pick up. Back to school night is coming up so hopefully there is more of an opportunity. The boys say that first grade is a lot more boring than Kindergarten, but when they explained themselves I got the sense that they actually mean it's harder. I looked over their schedule and it's definitely a more rigorous schedule with lots of reading, math and science. Should be good for them, they coasted through K without missing a step so I think they need to be challenged more. I'm sooooo glad to be back to the boy's school schedule. I have so much more time to manage our household when I'm working a little less (I was working more over summer since the boys would go to day camp for much longer than the typical school day). I don't think I will volunteer myself to work more next summer, ha!

CTE, first day!
Caleb
Eli
Thomas
On our way to school!
We walk or bike to school everyday, it's only half a mile from our house.
I love that we live so close and don't have to deal with cars, carseats, and parking to get to school. 
Silliness
The teacher said she did not have a chance to move Caleb's name tag to another table. I was worried they would misbehave being together. They were fine of course and two days later Caleb was moved to another table were ironically he got into a scuffle with the boy he was put next to. I guess they were sword fighting with their pencils and they ended up stabbing each other. No one fessed up as to who started it first. Eli said he saw that the other boy started it. I want to believe him but maybe he's just standing in solidarity with his brother, ha!
Let start learning!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Multiples Illuminated take two!

Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation for this review, these are just my honest opinions!
Multiples Illuminated the sequel!
Read my review to the first book, click here.

Helpful tips, funny stories, deferring perspectives and opinions. That's right, more of the good stuff from the first book! There was bit too much poetry for my taste but I can over look it because I found the content very enlightening. My kids are still quite young and we have a long road ahead of us, so thank you for this.

Some highlights:

I loved the explanation that things don't really get easier, it's just different. It's a hard fact to accept but it's true. While it's not physically as exhausting as being up all night feeding babies or changing 9-12 poopy diapers a day. But now we're faced with the mentally and emotionally exhausting tasks of trying to settle arguments and fights were sometimes no one will fess up who started first. Or keeping the fairness/equal balance in check. ALL DAY LONG. Like seriously who care's who went through the door way first! I'm constantly reiterating "life is not fair, get used to it...do you see me crying because the neighbor has a nicer car than I do?!" But I loved what another contributor wrote "Fair does not mean equal; it means everyone is getting what they need." I'm adding this to my arsenal of sayings and will use it every chance I get!

I also LOVED the author who pointed out my pet peeve, the idea that modern psychology views the twin/triplet/etc bond as some kind of disease which the children must be cured of. All the recommendations suggest that if a twin/triplet is to be an individual you must not dress them the same, not have them in the same class room, not have them in the same sports or activities, not share the same bedroom, etc, etc. This notion simply infuriates me. I've seen my kids blossom into distinct individuals despite pretty much sharing everything right down to their underwear. Like an unstoppable force they have become different persons with different personalities all by the age of 6. But in reality, they've always been different. Following through on all these recommendations is unfeasible, unpractical and financially unattainable to MOST families. As the same author pointed out, her method is to simply provide a loving and supportive environment. With this she has seen her twins share a strong bond all the while being their own persons. This is my aim in parenting too. It was very interesting how she also talked about an anthropologist (& identical twin) who wrote that, "identical twins actually have a more finely developed awareness of their uniqueness than do singletons." "Having an identical twin does not compromise one's self at all- instead, each twin enriches both the self and the other." LOVE LOVE this!

After reading this book I got the notion to ask my kids a couple questions, it's been a long time coming. I've asked them the first question many times and up until now they've never known why people mix them up. They've had to learn or be convinced that they look the same. For the second question I wanted to see if it mattered to them. They all answered the second question the same, I like to think it's because they know they are their own person, an individual. They've always known this and do not need convincing otherwise : )

Here is what Eli, Caleb, and Thomas have to say (please excuse Eli's cutesie voice, he was in some sort of mood, haha)...


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Astoria (6 Yrs 11 Mo!)

It's kind of a tradition now but after Phil runs Hood to Coast we stay in Astoria for the night and hang out there the next day. Astoria is a cute little town in the northern most part of Oregon. Many movies have been filmed here like Goonies and Kindergarten Cop to name a couple. Anyways we always have a good time exploring this tiny town frozen in time : )

CET are 6 years and 11 months old!
Looking for snakes bc last time one scared us here!
E
Even the California sea lions are moving to Oregon, ha!
Riding the trolley with C.
When my kid tells me he can't find something. 
When my kid asks me to snuggle : )
Pretty much sums up life with triplet boys, ha!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Laundry Obsession

For some reason I get asked a lot, usually with a disgusted look on the person's face "you probably have to do sooo much laundry!?" I usually just stare back awkwardly, mumbling something like "yeah I guess so." I just don't quite know what to say because....um well...I have a confession to make... I LOVE doing laundry! And I guess I'm not supposed to like it according to...um...everyone??? I find it enjoyable and relaxing,weird right? I'm always excited to tackle a huge laundry pile. And you know what, our clothes always look fantastic!

I do laundry once a week over a 2-3 day period with these 8 easy (insert sarcasm) steps: 

1. I go around and collect all the scattered clothes that didn't make it into the laundry basket (which accounts for about 95% of the laundry). 

2. I make my color piles of colors, reds, darks, and lights. EVERYTHING gets turned inside out (to protect them from an accidental color bleed. As I categorize the piles I inspect clothes briefly and if there is anything that looks like it would leave a stain I set it to the side.

3. Clothes with potential stains that I've set to the side I spray with a stain remover, turn inside out and put it in its corresponding color pile. 

4. I begin washing with the cleanest pile (so as to let the stain remover work its magic on the dirtier piles). I always wash cold. 

5. I HANG DRY everything except underwear, socks and pajamas. If it's winter it'll take a full day or longer to dry since they dry indoors. I love summers because I can hang outside and sometimes get around to folding that same day!

6. Once everything is dry I get to the really fun part, FOLDING! The main reason for hang drying is because the high heat will bake-in any stains. Once something has been dried with a stain, that stain will be very very difficult to remove! Also I hear that it's worse for wash wear (that ugly faded look that old clothes get). I really hate wash wear! We do not keep anything that has too much wash wear. 

As a side note: My love of folding is two fold (hahaha pun intended!). First I put on some Nextflix with my giant clothes pile next to me (this is pretty much my only time to watch real tv as I hardly ever have time to watch something other than a quick wind-me-down of whatever before bedtime). A lot of times (100% of the time) I'll have a beer or glass of wine with a tasty snack on my side. Second, I love to look at my boys adorable little clothes. I'm surprised I still think of their clothes as little considering it's waaay bigger then when they were babies. 

7. As I fold I inspect clothes for any stains that did not come out. I set those to the side and I deal with them later (see below my secret stain remover method). 

8. Implement my secondary stain remover methods if necessary. Proceed back to step 4. 

And I should clarify, I love doing my kids laundry not ours. Phil and I's laundry is less than thrilling to say the most, ha!

The start of the fun! 
The pile is taller than my child!
Unhelpful kitty buried in the undies pile : )
With socks as cute as those how could you not love doing laundry!
An example of how my kids leave their clothes,
probably my grease monkey Caleb wore this one, ha!
My stain remover of choice.
I recommend spraying and letting the clothes sit for 10min-2 hours before washing.
For stubborn stains I'd leave over night but not more than that because it might leave holes in your clothes (I've learned the hard way). 
On the left you can see that after spraying and washing some haze of the stain is still there. My tougher stain remover method is using a drop of blue Dawn and spraying with more oxyclean. Then scrub with an old toothbrush. Let sit a couple hours to overnight then wash again.

This method has gotten 99% of stains out that I've dealt with. The only thing that I still have trouble with is pen marks, please share your secrets if you know how to get those out (and don't tell me rubbing alcohol cause that hasn't work that well for me although it has faded the mark but not completely erased it). And dear friends and family, if you are reading this please don't give my children pens to play with! Pens are my worst enemy!!!
It'g gotta be original blue Dawn, nothing else!
This stuff is strong, they use it on birds after oil spills!
Ta Da! Stain free!
The best feeling ever for an OCD laundry obsessed mama!!
The last secret I'll share is to use color catchers like Shout Color Catcher sheets when I wash my colors. Especially use these when you have new clothes that have never been washed before. New clothes have a higher chance of bleeding. These are pricey so I use sparingly but they totally work. They go in white and many times they'll come out the color of the new piece of clothing! The rest of the wash comes out unscathed. They are also good if you don't have enough clothes to separate into colors. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Buried Alive!

It was a beautiful day at the beach!

The Oregon coast is so breathtaking. 
Eli made a cute little kite at camp, I was surprised it actually flew!
E was snackin'
Caleb
We had to dig a pretty big hole!
Good thing we had help from our friends : )
Identical triplets buried alive!
See ya!

Oh the funny things you can do with triplets, hahaha!

Monday, July 31, 2017

6 Yrs 10 Mo!

CET are 2 months shy of SEVEN, eeeek!
Taken a tad early since they were in CA without me on their mirthday. 
We have had a busy busy summer so far! I cannot even believe school starts in less than 1 month, ugh! I refuse to think about it and I'm ignoring all the back to school propaganda (geez can't they at least wait till August before they bombard you with that stuff!).

The boys have kept busy at summer camp while I'm at work. Since camp keeps them two hours longer than the school does I've been working a lot more. The boys love day camp and scoff at me when I sometimes pick them up early, ha! While I've also been loving the warm summer weather this schedule is wearing me out. I've been averaging 35hrs a week (I was trying to shoot for 40) and I just cannot fathom ever doing a full 40 hrs unless I hired a maid AND a cook! I'll be sad when summer is over but glad to get back to a more manageable routine : )

So my mom came a couple weeks ago to visit with the kids for a week. At the weeks end we drove my mom and the boys to California to spend a whole 10 days there with out us! We leave for CA in a few days but man have we been living it up without the kids, muuhahaha! It has been so nice to see the house stay clean so effortlessly. We've been eating out a ton too, it's sooo much cheaper when you aren't feeding 5, ha! Plus we can go to kid unfriendly places too, heehee. We do miss the boys a lot so we can't wait to see them soon. They seem to be having the time of their lives too. They are getting so much mama Elda time whom they adore. We've video chatted with them a couple times and I ask them if they want me to pick them up already. They immediately answer with a "NO!" Next summer we may have to bump it up to two weeks, hahaha : )

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Cove Palisades State Park

We had plans to go camping right after the kids got out of school in mid June. As we inched closer the weather kept looking worse and worse. You think we'd learned our lesson from last year when we got rained out although that was mid May! I guess you just can't count on dry weather around here till at least July. Lesson re-learned! A couple days before he had to go camping we scrambled to find a different place so as not to disappoint four little boys. We took a chance on The Cove Palisades State Park in eastern Oregon about 3 hrs from Portland and safe from any rain. I'm so glad we got rained out of our usual camp spot which isn't terribly exciting because this place was amazing! It's our new favorite camp spot and we can't wait to go back. There are so many great things but to mention a few...amazing view points, good fishing, hiking paths, safe for kids swimming area, organized kids activities by the forest rangers, a play ground, very nice showers & bathrooms, and great paved paths for the kids to ride their bikes.

The Fishermen
Our Friends K and Oz came too : )
They caught so many bass and blue gill fish!
My handsome Thomas
Great swimming area.
The depth by the floaty thing in the background was only about 4 feet deep.
The water was pretty chilly but that didn't stop anyone but me, ha!
The lake is at the bottom of a big canyon, it's all so breathtaking.
On our hike, that's me!
A waterfall in the desert, go figure!
Phil and I with Mt. Jefferson peeking in the background. From this vista point you could see almost every mountain in Oregon and Washington, Mt Adams, the 3 Sisters, Mt Bachelor, Mt Jefferson, and Mt. Hood! That's 7 if I'm not forgetting one : )
My 3 lovely's!