Saturday, August 30, 2008

Summer Home School for Triplets- final weekend

Well folks, I survived the first (last???) annual Summer Home School Triplets Program. I am still semi-sane enough to crank out a few blogs, take some decent photos and happily countdown the days until M-W-F of Temple Beth Chanel Preschool begins next week. It has been a perfect summer filled with spontaneous lessons, a bunch of planned activity and a few lazy days of just taking it easy. I think I can safely say that I accomplished my initial goal of just getting through each day without permanent injury, damage to any one's self esteem and keeping enough energy to repeat the daily curriculum and schedule until after Labor Day. I did it!

Today we transitioned the notion of changing seasons. Summer is almost over and Fall is starting to show itself to us in nature. I took the triplets to Lynd's Orchards this morning to pick Gala apples. They took to picking apples like professionals after a few simple instructions.

They loved it. They thought it was fun. We harvested 40 pounds of fruit in about an hour. This does not include all the "testing" done to check for flavor and juiciness.

I left our choo choo wagon on top of the crest of a small orchard hill so that we could use the orange, purple and green cars to contain the 20 pound bags. Initially this was purely for safety so that I could see all three people at any given time. I soon discovered that this was a genius set up. The kids would wander about a row or two, pick a few apples then come back to the wagon and drop off the goods. Over and over and over again. Up the short hill. After 30 some trips up hill they were showing signs of fatigue. I wore them out.

By 10:30 a.m. they were physically spent and I had 40 pounds of fresh Gala Apples. Operation successful in every way!

They were so tired that no one complained or even whined when I announced it was time to get in the van. On the drive home we talked about all the different things we could make with our new apples. There was talk to fruit pie, jam, applesauce and apples & honey. We decided to eat a few more just to be sure they were good. Final weekend of Home Schooling triplets- simple as Apple Pie!

Friday, August 29, 2008

They are HELLIONS I tell you!

My children are so damn loving and personable. They melt your heart. Sadly, after dark, when the moon is out, they become HELLIONS. They are not werewolves....but close. It is like a change in behavior- day to night. Take last night for example. I was attending the parents' night of preschool at Temple Beth Chanel. I got home after 9:30 to find Jeff- mildly sedated and exhausted. The kids were in bed but were not asleep.

I went upstairs to re-tuck them in and get them settled when horror of horrors they had escaped the childproof confines of their room! (AGAIN!) This time the jailbreakers had moved a computer desk that had been bungy-corded in front of the gate to the bathroom. They scaled the extra tall gate (over 4 feet tall) and hoisted themselves onto the bathroom counter via the drawers which they used as step stools. Problem solving is so not an issue for these boys.

As I stood there paralyzed with utter amazement, I could smell the fruity shampoo that CJ was splishing and splashing in on the floor. He was wiggling in it like a slip and slide on the wood floor- which after I mopped it, had more volume and shine thanks to the entire ginormous bottle of BIG SEXY HAIR at $35. I should have blown dry the floor for more staying power, but alas, I used a beach towel to finish the job.

Both Eli and CJ were painting. With Nail Polish. On the cabinetry. CJ had eye liner pencil marks on his face and Eli was covered in some moisturizing potion. There was a schmear of cream on the drawers (handprint marks everywhere) and there was a nice dusting of baby powder sealing the goo to the countertops.

I made a short video to show you that despite my frown and obvious MAD tone of voice, these kids were totally proud of their work. Hearing their voices and seeing them in action put this into perspective. I am chosing to see the bright side here- I wanted this for them. I begged G-d to make them normal and healthy kids when they were in the NICU. I wished that I would be able to bring them home and marvel at them..... I marveled last night all right. I am living with some hellions, and I could not be happier! Watch out Temple Beth Chanel, the hellions are coming next week!

And where was Natalie you might ask? She was bossing the boys from the comfort of her bed. She was barking out orders and instructing them on what to pour and what to open next. But technically, she was still in bed like a "lady"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Everything happens for a reason.....

When we first found out we were pregnant again after the triplets we were stunned. After all, how is it possible that we conceived without Assisted Reproductive Technology, while I was on the pill (for over 6 months) and while Jeff has sperm antibodies that prevent me from getting pregnant? How did this happen to us? We embraced the pregnancy and joked that this baby could be part of G-d's greater plan, perhaps this special child would even find a cure for cancer! Who knows. Everything happens for a reason, right?

Fast forward to the birth of our beautiful healthy baby girl, named Charlotte Alana after Jeff's parents who are Zichrono Livracha, or of a blessed memory. Charlotte was Jeff's mom's first name and Alan was his father's- by adding the "a" after Alan, we created her middle name- Alana. At 3 months Charlotte Alana was (and still is) the highest of highs in our life. But like most infants, she had sharp fingernails that required constant manicuring and attention. One night last Fall she scratched Jeff's nose and drew blood. The scratch took a while to heal and then a few months later it randomly re-opened as if she had nicked him again. Weird? Then a few months after that the sight of her scratch was back. Jeff's Internist doctor thought he should have the area checked by a dermatologist just to be safe. Fair enough- done!

As it turns out Charlotte scratched an area on Jeff's nose which triggered a biopsy that revealed a basal cell melanoma under the surface of the skin- this was not a problem that you could see or feel. It was fully under the surface with no warning signs or indications or a problem. Had she not scratched him precisely on that spot, who knows if it would have been detected at all. Yesterday Jeff spent all day having MOHS surgery to excise the cancer that Charlotte discovered with her jagged nails.

The procedure is state of the art. Mohs surgery is a special procedure designed to remove skin cancer with the least chance of recurrence and the least removal of healthy tissue. It is named for the physician that invented the technique. Here's how Mohs works - The specially trained dermatologist shaves off what he/she thinks is all the cancer, then you go into the waiting room and he/she goes into the lab and looks at the stained specimen to see if all of it was removed. If the cancer is growing all the way to the edge of any part of the specimen on the slide (seen under the microscope) that means there's probably some more left on the face. You return to the surgical suite to have a little more removed- but just in the spots where the margins are positive for cancer. Then it's back to the lab to see if that's enough, and so on, until the whole lesion and every last bit of cancer is gone. Each subsequent specimen is smaller and smaller, leaving healthy tissue where it is and just going after the "legs" of the cancer, until it is finally completely gone and you've got the smallest defect to repair.

Skin cancer can grow along the planes under the top layer of skin, so the cancer is often larger than it initially appears on the surface. In Jeff's case it was far deeper and wider than even the dermatologist initially expected. He had about 25% of his nose removed and to put it in perspective, it required over 30 stitches to close.

Fortunately he started out with a fairly generous honkin schnaz to begin with-(humor) and more importantly his cancer was caught early thanks to the handiwork (literally) of baby Charlotte.

In keeping with our original thought about our miracle bonus baby- everything happens for a reason, and while she has yet to find a cure for cancer, she has already done a substantial job detecting it. Now we believe that G-d had a plan we he gave us this very special baby. Baruch Hashem a million times!

Monday, August 25, 2008

We are (land) LORD of the (fruit) FLIES

Ughhhh the madness... the one thing I love most about Summer is the ripe, juicy, plentiful variety of fresh fruit. The thing I despise about Summer are the fruit flies. Right now my kitchen is horribly infested with a zillion pesky fruit flies.

I have washed, dried and put away all fresh fruits and veggies. I myself have consumed almost an entire bottle of 2002 Cabarnet- saving a bit for the little appetizer tray dishes on my kitchen counters. While I was busy drowning my sorrows, so were some of my flying friends now floating in the Rodney Strong pool of death. I have clorox-ed all surfaces of counter space and the sink and I am still the Lord of the Flies.

Until the infestation improves we have a universal fruit hold-out, a ban on bananas and a boycot and apricots. Considering we eat over 60 pounds of fresh fruit a week this anti-fruit movement will have our colons paralyzed with non movements- if you hear know what I am saying.

I am thinking of putting this sign at the intersection in front of our house-

If anyone has any brilliant suggestions on how to rid my home of the all means- leave a comment below. Shy of a bug bomb or moving, I will try anything!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It is Sunday- We are Jewish- We eat Chinese Food

The title says it all....

Tonight was our favorite local Chinese restaurant, Panda House near Polaris. The owners are clients of Uncle Howard and we always get the best treatment. They make a special gluten free meal for CJ and he gobbles it up with a soup spoon! It is his "fabor-ite" with rice. Natalie and Eli eat anything we serve them as long as they get Plum sauce for dipping. The sesame chicken
and beef with fresh broccolini,
are so good you could plotz. Panda House is worthy- which is why we took Evin out for her last Slutsky Sunday before she heads back to Virginia Beach. Wahhhhh can you hear me crying in my rice and green tea? Shalom!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just a normal Saturday at the Slutskys

We woke this morning anxious to get the newspaper. Our very own star football athlete, Mitchell Slutsky was mentioned in the Columbus Dispatch for his varsity performance last night. Two touchdowns and an interception. Way to throw Mitchell. Vikes win 45-0!!! Not bad for only being 5"10", 170 lbs- or so the paper reported, anyhow.

The day continued with a full schedule of fun. A costco run, naps, playing on the deck, and going to feed the fish in the pond. We concluded our Saturday with a white trash tradition, bathing the kids with the hose in the front yard.

Our neighbors are accustomed to our "washing the youngins outside" practice and they hardly ever stare anymore.

Once we got the kids into their new pajamas we stopped for just long enough to take these photos.

Then we played a new game called, "How to scare a babysitter away in less than 5 minutes." The kids were WILD, WILD, WILD and they quickly impressed Evin with all their crazy imitations, two year old tricks and LOUD noises.

CJ was stomping around like a dinosaur,

Eli and Natalie were taking turns playing with Charlotte, sometimes a little too rough, other times sweet as can be,

Somehow they all survived and all the littles were winding down fast. Just a typical jam packed Saturday round here. Sunday anyone?

Friday, August 22, 2008

From the Mouths (and tushies) of Babes

Last night as I was tucking everyone into their beds I overheard this conversation among the triplets:

Eli: (Farting Loudly)

CJ: Who tooted...(giggle)?

Eli: Me! I did! I tooted!

Natalie: Good Job Eli- congra-doo-lashuns (clapping)

CJ: That's okay Eli, everybody toots

Eli: Yeah, you are right CJ, but Mommie is the best!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Triple the Triplets Times Two

Greetings from sunny Westerville, Ohio where today you could have seen 6 sets of triplets live and in person- all having a blast! The glam triplet mom squad plus one daddy showed up to take over the park and playground. These kids know how to have a great time! Have you ever seen anything cuter than these happy faces?

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The older crowd

The older crowd
Amanda and Mitchell

A blast from the past...makes it all so real now