Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Look Back at 2008 in Photo Pages

I have posted before about my lack of skill in the scrapbooking department. I have a creative mind and good intentions but somehow I can't get organized enough to cut and glue papers, stickers and ticket stubs along side the photographs of my children and make it into an album. JUST CAN'T DO IT. Can you imagine my chaos with half baked pages, scraps of paper, and other grommets and doo dads just laying out where little hands could do G-d knows what? Oy- my head hurts just thinking about that kind of mess.

When I found the website How Fast They Grow I got caught up on my baby books. It was so easy, and inexpensive- in fact if you factor intot the equation not printing your own photos at a lab, supplies, time, energy and frustration, these pages are PRICELESS. The quality is super and the scrapbooks you create are truly impressive. Once they arrive in the mail you just slide the pages into a 12x12 album...voila!

I could blabber on and on about the site, but instead I will let you see for yourself with a sneak peek into my 2008 album! (click on the colored link to see)I think there will be a couple pages of the individual images to view.


Let me know what you think....I am partial to the actual images in the book but when I drop these faces into the adorable templates, it looks like I have more time than money- Mu ha ha ha!

Happy New Year!
Cheers from the Queen

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out with the old, in with the new...Mama's got a new doo!

As 2008 ends I decided to update my look. As most of you know I have lost most of my real hair and I have been wearing a wig, or a sassy sheitel if you prefer, to cover the bald patches on my scalp. Now that my Thyroid issues are being addressed I am hopeful that my hair will grow back nicely.

Until then I am updating my look with some new and improved styles. The longish straight sheitel is fine for everyday casual,Photobucket but lately I have needed a more sexy and younger looking style. Jeff brags that he is the only guy who has a wife with real boobs and fake hair. Do you think this will hurt the ratings on my appearnace in the REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW ALBANY?

Today I updated my hair wardrobe with curls and highlights on what is left of my real hair.

Now I can just change my hairstyle on a whim. Wear it au natural, short and curly or top it with longer, straighter locks. Out with the old and in with the new I say! Starting with my hair.

Happy New Doo!
XOXO,
The Queen

Monday, December 29, 2008

Daddy Day Care- no refunds

You get what you pay for....I have heard it a million times and usually with my bargain prowess I have to disagree. Sometimes you get more than you pay for- really you do. My point in all of this? When it comes to finding top quality Child Care- sometimes you get what you pay for--A professional Nanny or Au pair has credentials and the price you pay almost guarantees that there is a level of responsibility and pride in the work performed. Finding someone who is patient, kind, and nurturing is paramount in your peace of mind, and when it comes to safety- you can't compromise, EVER!

When the child care provider is FREE- there is a reason. I know that parenting is different than child care- and I NEVER say Jeff is babysitting- NEVER. First, I would not hire him based on his skills with keeping the kids neat, organized and relatively safe, and second he is the dad, so he is parenting- not babysitting. I would not pay him and the quality of his work when he is solely in charge reflects that. When Jeff is running the in home Daddy Day Care there are no refunds. You get what you pay for....NOTHING! No amount of Street Fighter Marketing can overcome the lack of service- zip, nada, zilch!

So that the images will make sense later--Here is what the playroom shelf looks like on a typical day. The shoes are organized by child size and color-a simple system, really. This facilitates getting out the door in a timely manner every single day. The gated zone is cleaned daily so that toys are put in their proper place, any garbage is removed, and supplies are restocked.

Example....Daddy Day Care on Sunday:
I came downstairs to find Jeff sound asleep on the couch, all four kids reeking havoc in the room with him, and Eli covered head to toe in bright blue (THANK GAWD, WASHABLE) marker.


My son, TODDLER SMURF greeted me by saying, "Mommie, we all having fun while Daddy is taking a nap! We messed up all the shoes (see image up above and compare) and used a blue marker!"



I was silently stewing and wanted to say, NO SHIT CAPTAIN OBVIOUS! I was not sure where to start the damage control.
My poor Roche Bobois leather sofa, Please tell me it will wipe clean when I make Jeff handle it. Please tell me that the washable marker will REALLY be washable.

So it is back to business as usual, with Argenida and Mommie as the boss, NOT DADDY. I know it is possible that things like this COULD happen under our watch, but they DON'T. You get what you pay for, and Daddy Day Care ain't a bargain at any price!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wild Night Lights at the Columbus Zoo thanks to Global Warming this is not a vent

Thanks to the unseasonably warm front we had balmy winds and a temperature around 70 degrees- at 5:30 p.m. In December. In Columbus. Last Night! This was open season for everyone and their uncles to invade the zoo. The Wild Nights exhibit runs from Thanksgiving to January 3- and up until the recent thaw, there was no way in hell I was going to bundle 4 littles to schlep them round looking at Christmas lights inside the zoo with windchill factors. Just last week we were in single digit temps. Global warming?

I should have known the zoo was going to be a hot spot- I am sure all the other sane parents have put off going to see these wildlights too! I should have known when the parking lot was jam packed. The traffic just getting there was crazy. I should have guessed that there would be a zillion strollers, trashy cig smokers, and a annoying lack of good parenting from the patrons- I have come to expect that from all events that draw a crowd at our zoo. Are you sitting down? I was pleasantly SHOCKED at how well or visit went- along with more than half of the local population. Maybe my medication has kicked into full gear, or maybe I have been overcome with Holiday Spirit? We had fun. I did not want to shoot myself or anyone else. Is this even possible? HELLO-has Global Warming gone to my brain---wtf?

Fortunately the kids had a blast too. They were in total amazement at the zoo "Wiff all da kiss-mas lites"- It was truly spectacular.








The photos can not do the displays justice. I have tried to capture the wonder and awe but it does not translate like being there in person.




The landscape was covered in LED lights (the zoo has gone green- because of global warming?) and the holiday themed wild nights were a unanimous hit with the pack of wild animals I brought in my van. I hope we get one more marginally warm evening between now and January 3rd so we can go back and have a little more elbow room. When it comes to visiting the Columbus Zoo in winter, I am all about maximizing the affect of Global Warmning. Woo Hoo!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

NICU thanks- edited to add content

Every couple of months we visit our former NICU. We make a point of going on the triplets' birthday, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and at Christmas. We show up and "feed the nurses" and say thank you. More importantly we let the caring staff know just how much their hard work and healing touch pays off. Seeing is believing. Yesterday we went by to see a new triplet mom who has 27 weekers in the NICU right now. Nothing can motivate and uplift your doubt about the future more than seeing what a little bit of time can do for your situation. Just look at this blog and you can see how 27 week 6 day premature infants can challenge your every day existance.

Sadly the new mommie was not there at the time but we hope she contacts us so we can personally let her see how life will be soon enough. While we were there, one of our favorite nurses showed us a preemie that was bigger now than my babies when they were admitted at birth.
Ours were so tiny that weighing them in grams was more accurate- (this little guy was over a pound bigger than any of our bambinos) and you can see from the window how small he is now. YIKES. The kids love seeing the little babies and love getting a hug from Dr. Cordero.
On this visit they all took turns telling him Gracias and Feliz Navidad- my bi-lingual former preemies rocked his world. Merry Christmas OSU NICU- we love you all.


EDITED TO ADD:

As I was uploading the photos of the NICU visit the triplets were in the child-proof zone (jail) of our family room. They were playing nicely and I was within earshot of them. I could hear them talking amongst themselves, nothing seemed to be overly earth shattering. Until I smelled Desitin and heard Eli say, "Good job CJ, it will be sooooo shiny and clean!" I left the keyboard and went in to investigate. I found them "cleaning" the brass fireplace frame. With Desitin and a sock.


In all fairness that area does hold many fingerprints and YES, I did clean it last week before Nana & Papa arrived. They watched as I used some cream cleaner on an old sock- I knew I should have waited until they were napping, but time was of the essence. Anyway, the triplets decided to take matters into their own little hands and helped me clean off the fingerprints. Remember the bronzer hand print turkeys? Now we have matching desitin streaked brass in the family room. I sure hope the new triplet mommie reads the blog now- she will be thanking her lucky stars that I get to go first in our quest to raise preemie multiples.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Crazy Chrismukkah Celebration

We spent Christmas day with all the cousins at Connor and Jack's house. It made sense to have the Slutsky family gift exchange on the day everyone could make it- Dec 25th, at the one house where there's a Christmas Tree. It was a perfect cozy Chrismukkah with plenty of noise, nosh and laughter. It was latkes and gingerbread cookies, along with a "schmor-gas-board" (yiddush for mish mash of cuisine) of other pot luck items. A real combination of the two holidays! Oy Vay! Ho Ho Ho!

The kids really enjoyed invading the playroom-


all the toys and games were new and different to them, and the cousins love to share their stuff among each other. It was so cool watching them interact like civilized human beings this year. Maddie, Amanda and Mitchell were at their best teasing each other. Mitchell has grown this GAWD AWFUL goatee thing- and the girls made sure he knew how foolish he looked. Maddie is gearing up for her 17th birthday bash next month and we had to ridicule her about the rules for her event (no grinding, no drinking, no smoking, no shoes on white carpet, no making out, NO FUN!) and Amanda (being the college student) just enjoyed seeing how far she has come since her early teens.

There is a running competition among the Uncles- the 4 Slutsky Brothers try to out do each other with the size and quality of their Televisions. Right now Rick is in the lead with is mammoth flat screen wall mount HDTV plus his other new tv purchases in the finished basement, with Marc and Howard tied for second. My poor (I mean that literally) husband is in last place with our dinosaur 1990's relic- we do have a dvr but that does not even rank with the brothers technology. Maybe by the time I get a flat tummy from a tuck procedure, Jeff can get a flat screen?

The aunts and uncles pooled their gift for the triplets and indulged them big time with a Wii game system. I am sure Mitchell will make sure they know how to use it- which is really code for his ability to play with it until they realize it is for them.

What a wonderful tradition we have started- celebrating the combination of Hanukkah and Christmas every year with all the Ohio Slutskys- Merry Chrismukkah and Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No drama- just more out takes

Since today is Christmas I will continue to update you on some loose ends. The Rose Petal cottage was and is a huge hit with the kids. I assumed there would be some drama when all 4 wanted to play in it at once. Are you sitting down? They have been taking turns. They have been kind to each other about sharing the space inside the playhouse. There has been little if any fighting. I am hedging my bets here, but I am almost ready to publicly say that we are entering an easier stage with these little ones. They almost understand us and vice versa.

We still are waiting for that ONE ideal digital image for a New Years 2009 holiday greeting card. Forget Hanukkah - too late for that, and Christmas is today, so we passed that deadline too. My humble goal is to get the photo cards in the US Mail by January first- keep your fingers crossed. Here are more out takes:

these candids prove I am still trying folks. These civilized posed shots lasted 30 seconds before the boys were doing karate

and Charlotte was screeching. It was downhill from there

Last night we went out for dinner- of course it was for Chinese food- and the kids sat and ate quietly with little to no chaos.

They used forks and spoons, there was barely any rice on the floor and no one had a meltdown. I am wondering if my subliminal message parenting is finally paying off. I have had the kids listening to Mary J. Blige's album NO DRAMA. Is that wrong? I might be on to something here!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gluten Free Hanukkah Cookies

Traditional Hanukkah cookies are decorated sugar cookies that are loaded with gluten and various frostings filled with red dye. Oh no, not at our house. We celebrate the season with the most tasty of gluten free cookies, decorated by small hands- assisted my Mommie and Nana.
Since cooking with four kids age three and under is insane, we skip the mixing of dough and go straight to the frozen dough varieties offered at Trader Joe's and the Raisin Rack. Just keeping it real makes this Jewish Martha Stewart ever so happy. Frankly, the kids could care less if I made the cookie dough from scratch- all they want is the rapidly finished product and some turns licking the spatula



and mixing beaters. We opted to use a homemade frosting and used two all natural sprinkle toppings and one which contained blue dye. The results yielded a beautiful tray of Hanukkah cookies, a semi simple process, and 4 very delighted little tasters.


Nana had fun too. Don't ask why we have not had any latkes this year. I can explain that with two words- TIME CONSUMING. Next year I vow to hang out with old hags and smell like Latke grease. I promise!

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