Monday, May 23, 2016

Failed Camping Trip

We had plans to go camping on the coast (by the beach, yay!) but as the date approached the weather started looking bad. So in efforts to not scrap the entire trip Phil looked for a different place to camp. Instead of the coast we headed east towards the "dryer" part of Oregon (just east of The Dalles). No rain was forecast but the day before we left, rain showed up for Saturday but only 40% chance and dry the rest of the time. We thought we could handle a few sprinkles, no big deal right? Well we got there Friday and had a great time. We headed for bed with out a worry and at some point past midnight it started pouring! It poured ALL NIGHT LONG! Miraculously our tent stayed dry, the boys and I slept like logs while the rain kept Phil up. Our friends didn't fair so well and when water started leaking into their tent they had to sleep in their car.

In the morning it was still raining (so much for 40%!). The forecast said the rain would stop at around noon so we thought we'd stick it out till the rain stopped since our tent was still dry. We went out to breakfast in the nearest town after which we bid farewell to our friends (they'd gotten 2 hrs of sleep so they understandably high tailed it out of there). Next we went to a museum and finally back to the camp site around noon when it was supposed to stop raining. Of course it was still raining! We decided to take a family nap and discovered a leak in our tent that got some of our bedding wet.

After a short while it finally stopped raining so we thought we'd dry everything out by hanging the bedding up outside and sopping up the moisture in the tent with a towel. Well what do you know...it started raining again! It wasn't terrible, mostly just sprinkling but it it would stop and there was no way we'd be able to dry our bedding. So we called it quits after that and came home!......oh and by the way, it never rained at the coast, ha!
Stopped for some coffee on the way to camping!
It was a beautiful place at least.
Eli
Just like a boy to find something that looks like a gun. 
The museum was actually pretty cool!
Sunday we slept in, ate a big breakfast and made a day of it at OMSI followed by a walk downtown! Why did our vacation have to end just cause we had to cancel camping, right?
Last Friday was the boys last opportunity to bring something for show and tell. Caleb brought his beloved kitty and Eli too plus a dead fly that Caleb supposedly killed. Thomas brought his "fireman" boots and pants to show how he can put them on so quickly during an emergency call, ha! 
This is my view everyday that I drop them off at preschool. They run to class leaving me about 50 feet behind. They sure do love going to preschool! Gah! Only one more day of school left then graduation : (
The other day cruisin' the hood!

Friday, May 13, 2016

A Day In Preschool

A couple weeks ago I volunteered in the boys preschool class. I had done it a couple times last year and had marveled at how well behaved an almost all boy class was! The kids were all in their own little worlds and didn't interact much. The kids really focused on the different activity stations (blocks, puzzles, etc). And at least with my boys, they couldn't even remember their class mates names last year. Boy have things changed!

This year the kids are sooo different. First of all everyone is so chatty, I heard lots of cute little stories from almost everyone. The activity stations weren't very busy, instead the kids played in small groups. Some pretend played together in the "gardening section" while some others played hide-in-seek. There are also lots of friendships. It was so cute, Jack and Thomas are such good friends. Jack is almost a full head taller than Thomas but he still followed Thomas around the whole day. At home the boys are always discussing who is friends with who even though I always tell them that they can all be friends. It's always "well I'm Jacks friend," "I'm Charlies friend" "I'm Dwight's friend" or "I'm Carlo's friend." Apparently the boys are pretty popular and all their classmates seem to really like them. Recently only Caleb went to school (while the other two stayed home sick) and boy was that the talk of the day, "only one triplet came!" Caleb even announced that he became Jack's friend. So I guess he substituted for Thomas, ha!

The boys are sure going to miss all their friends next year. Most are going to different schools but thankfully two of the boys good friends will be at their school. So there will be two familiar faces, at least at recesses : )

Eli and Caleb
Story Time!
Last weekend we walked over Portland's newest bridge!
Family pic!
Eli
Caleb
Thomas

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Multiples Illuminated

A few months ago I was approached to see if I wanted to do a book review of a new book about multiples. And since I was not paid or benefit in anyway from this, here goes my honest opinion!

The book was a very nice read. It flowed well and covered a lot of important topics. It is basically a compilation of different peoples experiences. Reading them felt very much like hearing an old friend tell you about what they went through and what you're about to go through! At times it's serious and other times you find your self laughing at the stories.

I really enjoyed hearing experiences from other moms of triplets since it's not something you can readily find in any book these days (although I wish there had been even more!). I especially appreciated the section about breastfeeding being possible, it was something I questioned through out my whole pregnancy and found very little information on! It doesn't go into a lot of detail but just hearing "yes it's possible" is very reassuring.

I also appreciated the twin speak section because like most multiples (or at least most triplets) we too experienced a speech delay, although our twin speak wasn't as extensive as the authors'. I think back to our "mute" years and just remember the frustration that comes when you have three littles with limited communication.

My only criticism is that the fertility section was a bit too long for my taste. I almost skipped it half way through but in the end I stuck it out. While I'm sure the experiences are very relate-able it wasn't for me (and a good portion of other parents of multiples as well). Plus most people reading this are probably past this stage and already pregnant or have multiples so this could have been a shorter section. Other than that I do highly recommend this book for anyone expecting multiples. I probably would have read it more than once if it were around while I was pregnant!

Multiples Illuminated


Friday, May 6, 2016

Lottery Results

As I've mentioned before our first choice for kindergarten is for the boys to go to Spanish Immersion. I can't tell you how much I want this! Raising bilingual kids is NOT easy, I know this all too well. I speak to my kids in Spanish 99% of the time. They are with me for all but 7.5 measly hours of the week and yet they stubbornly default to speaking in English. They understand everything I say but getting them to speak in Spanish is a whole other story. We were doing so well until preschool happened and then it's like a light switch went off from Spanish to English! I know this much, it's inside their brains but getting them to use it is like pulling teeth. I NEED them in Spanish immersion so they retain their Spanish and learn to use it well. I simply can't shoulder all of this burden myself! Not to mention it's part of their culture, they are half Mexican after all!

At least in Portland, it's crazy competitive to get into the immersion programs (much like the charter schools). Last year like the many years before, hundreds of families apply for only a few slots. It's almost a miracle to get into a "focus-option" program. However, it's infinitely easier for native-language speakers to get into these programs because there just isn't enough of them to go around (depends on the school but there is also Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Vietnamese). The program defines a "native speaker" as any child who has at least one native speaking parent and has heard the language spoken to them since birth (check and check!). The school we applied for has 8 spots for native Spanish speakers who live in the neighborhood (16 spots for native speakers out of neighborhood, 16 spots for non-native speakers in neighborhood, and 8 spots for non-native speakers out of neighborhood). Last year only 6 applied to our category, so you'd think with 8 spots available we'd be shoe in's right? But the thought of two or even one extra kid applying would then mean I might not get one of my own kids in! I was worried sick and remember I have 3 kids to get into this program, that's 3/8ths of the slots! The thought of only getting one or two in is worse then getting nobody in at all!

Last Wednesday we got our letters in the mail and here are the results....

There was some major fist pumping and high five-ing from me!
The boys were a little befuddled as to why I was so happy : )
I have found a few tricks for getting my boys to speak more Spanish. For starters I only teach them academic stuff in Spanish (letters, shapes, numbers, etc). So far they only know how to count in Spanish (they have no choice since they don't know them past 10 in English, ha! suckers!). And I've been having them learn lots of little songs and nursery rhymes in Spanish. All of which they've memorized with ease. They get so proud when they learn a new song and get so excited for the next. I cannot wait for them to start school because they'll have no choice but to speak LOTS Spanish MUAHAHAHAHAHA (insert crazy scientist laugh)!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Small But Mighty

Last week mama Sue and Papa Ed came to visit! Here are some highlights of the fun stuff we did together : )
Sightseeing in the Gorge
Couldn't get the boys to cooperate : )
Three lil' cowboys at the Salem Ag Fest 
While they don't care for playing with their trains anymore
I was glad to see they still like a good train ride!
Cute pic of Eli and mama Sue
The boys did a tractor race and Eli raced with all the intensity he could muster.
And he did circles around everyone! (See video)
It was a great visit!
Here's the video of Eli racing. His brothers went before him in another race because Eli really wanted to ride the blue tractor (of course!). He was so so so very proud of himself for being the fastest. Eli likes to say that he is really fast because he is small and when he gets bigger he won't be as fast. He is small but mighty!

      

Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Yrs 7 Mo!

CET are 5 years and 7 months old!
The boys made personalized chia pets at school, ha!
The pics were taken at the beginning of the school year,
they look so little compared to the pic above.
What a difference a few months make!
We got the results for one of the charter schools lottery we applied to. We are on the wait list as #19, 31 and 74. This is for 30 kindergarten spots! As you can see even with three try's not a single one got in, it's just THAT unlikely to get into a charter school in Portland! I wasn't holding my breath or anything, I knew it'd be next to impossible, ha!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Klineline Pond

Like I mentioned before, last weekend was very nice and warm and we were itching to do something new. I caught mention of this park in the neighboring town of Vancouver, Wa. I looked it up and Salmon Creek trail runs right by it which was supposed to be good for biking and walking. We were pleasantly surprised by the gem that is this place. If you are a local you need to put this place on your summer bucket list, it might just become your new favorite spot as well. I have a feeling we'll be here a lot this coming summer!
The trail was fully paved and went on for several miles alongside this beautiful creek (which has some nice spots for wading). The path was perfect for kids since it's flat and wide. And NO cars!
Taking a break from riding : )
Such a beautiful place!
When we finished our bike ride we went to Klineline pond to cool off (there is a parking lot right next to the pond and the start of the trial, so you don't have to do any driving once there)
The boys getting goofy!
The water was super shallow at the shore.
We didn't do it this time but the pond is stocked with trout so you can fish here as well.
 
Eli knows how to sunbathe!
Eli in a hole
Behind this is also a splash pad and playground.
What more could you ask for in a place.
I think I could live here!