Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't Stop Believing

I saw this great video clip from the World Series this week. As much as I adore the game of baseball, and as much as I love to listen to Steve Perry and Journey, this moment was so unbelievably cool.

Imagine sitting in the stands as your team plays in the World Series. Picture yourself in this crowd of fans, loving every minute of the game. How cool is the Journey song, Don't Stop Believing? You sing along, you are pumped and stoked about your boys of Summer,



when suddenly you spy Steve Perry jamming along with the other 43,000 folks. How amazing is it to be a part of the moment when you realize Steve Perry is singing along with you to his own song?

I love this kind of cheesy, sentimental crap. And, yeah, I have had a crush on Steve Perry since 8th grade. The smell of wine and cheap perfume do it to me every single time. I have never, ever stopped believing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beggars Night, Just being myself

There are days when I feel like a complete witch. There are moments when my four little ones seem like 40 little ones. Some days there is not enough wine to combat the evil that is trying to get four kids to bed at a reasonable hour. There are times when I am the Cruella De Vil of parents.

Tonight was one of those nights.
Tonight it was all for show at Beggars night. How can you not smile when these darling dalmatians parade through the neighborhood. After trick-o-treating for an hour these animals were wasted tired. They had a total blast going from house to house collecting sugary snacks and chocolate.


These 4 dalmatians wagged their tails, said thank you, and were my cutest furry friends.

One neighbor asked me, "Where are the other 97 Dalmatians?" I said, "Trust me dahling, with these four, it feels like there are 101 of them!" He laughed and I almost cried, the truth speaks volumes.

The Cruella De Vil costume, wig and attitude were a hit. Acting like a raging lunatic comes naturally to me, so the character just worked. My favorite line in the movie 101 Dalmatians goes like this: "You beasts! But I'm not beaten yet. You've won the battle, but I'm about to win the wardrobe!" How true. True indeed.

Happy Halloween to you, here's hoping you get more treats than tricks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Halloween Past

If there is one shining moment in raising multiples, it is dressing them all coordinated and matching. I love the whole process and as you know, most days it looks like we are trying to star in the Sound of Music- the Von Slutskys? I know that at any given moment the kids will protest or form an opinion about being dressed alike, so for now, I am riding the crazy train as long as I can.

Halloween is a mom of multiples chance to really go over the top. Nothing draws more attention than a theme of costumes. I am completely obsessed with choosing the costumes, and making sure I whore these kids out during Beggars Night. I admit, I love the attention. I admit it. There. See.

In the past I have painstakingly selected the costumes for maximum adorableness. It was not that difficult to do. I just network with other moms of multiples and we recycle our genius from one family to the next. I am green like that. (Unless you track the carbon footprint involved in shipping costumes all across the country, the idea is noble.) Having Internet friends with similar child configurations can be beneficial on so many levels.

Our first Halloween with the four triplets was pure torture. I wanted to showcase my family zoo, and I was able to find animal costumes without any problem. I wedged a bumbo seat into the beloved choo choo wagon so that Charlotte could be a part of the action even though she could not even really sit up yet.



The wagon allowed me to parade these wild beasts through the neighborhood without any jailbreaks or loose toddlers. They did not even realize what Beggars Night was, they just enjoyed being a freak show. Well, Natalie did not enjoy it, in fact, she cried the entire time she was wearing the lion suit. It was just part of the charm.

I recycled the lion costume the following year,



and added the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Dorothy to create our Wizard of Oz theme. It all came to light when Target had the red glittery ruby slippers on clearance, and I rolled with it from there. Since I am originally from Kansas, this was a fitting choice for us. As I schlepped the kids trick-o-treating with Argenida, I kept chanting, there is no place like home.

With three themes we have lots of choices, but the three little pigs seemed appropriate for three, three year olds. Last year, I found the Little Red Riding Hood ensemble at Marshall's. When I spied it hanging there, I was instantly sold on the triplets being the three little pigs. Instead of wasting a bloody fortune on piggie costumes, I just went online and found three pig noses, and added them to the pink hooded sweatshirts.
Easy Peasy. Beggars Night was a total blast! This was a hit with the neighbors for sure. When we went to Kansas City on Halloween day, the kids got to wear their outfits again. It was a two city tour for the price of one. Jeff was the Big Bad Wolfin Granny's clothing, and even though Charlotte was a darling Little Red, Daddy stole the show in his pink robe and wolf mask.

This year, the kids have agreed to go with another one of my hair brained schemes. I predict that it will be my last year of dressing our family in a coordinated theme. The kids are quickly learning that other children actually choose their Halloween costumes, and they are forming an opinion about it. My shipped has sailed in this regard, and I am milking for what I fear may be the last time. I had a good run.

Our Halloween celebrations have been well received and equally documented for posterity. I will look back at these precious photos with fond memories of my career as a costume designer. With one more day until we don our newest look for New Albany Beggars Night on Thursday, I have work to do. It ain't easy going all out for Halloween, but someone has to do it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Friends have flown the Coop

edited to correct the blog link, it is not Dana's blog, but the blog of her friends- yet the story of another Suburban backyard chicken rancher!

Oh good lord, would you ever imagine I could be and that I am friends with, women who are sporting chicken coops in their backyards? In case you did not know, having chickens is all the rage right now. Suburban chicken coops are in vogue.

I am dumbfounded and still shaking my head about this. It sure seems like a lot of work and a ton of shoveling chicken shit for the freshest eggs. With the new Market District Giant Eagle offering free babysitting while I shop, this Mommie will be buying fresh eggs at the store. Case closed.

Michele has her own little chicken farm going in Las Vegas. Every other blog post nowadays is about her chicken drama. Those free range birds of hers are almost as crazy as she is. Almost. I can't believe the stuff she deals with, and now, she is turning to on line support forums about chickens. Get off the crazy train woman. You are shoving your hand up a chickens pupick to reach impacted and trapped eggs. Get thee to Whole Foods on Charleston for G-d's sake. Isn't having triplets plus one cuckoo enough? Oy vey, now she's adding hens and roosters to that whack-a-doo menagerie.

Now, my friend Dana has taken a shine to having backyard chickens too. She lives right here in Bexley and is on a mission to educate folks about the benefits of the chickens. Her coop is like Pottery Barn meets Hee Haw, it is wood stained, gorgeous, clean and best of all, it is in her backyard, not mine. I bet when Michele reads and sees this post, she is going to be just a tad jealous of this deluxe Ohio chicken operation.

There is a pre-conceived notion that raising chickens is loud, smelly and disturbing to the neighbors. The truth is, chickens are no more a nuisance than any other animals when properly taken care of. A well run chicken coop is quiet, and completely undetected to the rest of the neighborhood. Any opposition to having a backyard coop is just silly. Prohibiting backyard chickens would be like banning dogs and cats without any rhyme or reason.

Tonight is the big to do meeting in Bexley. I would be willing to bet that the folks that are anti-backyard chickens do not have a clue. Dana has been keeping a story like blog journal about the experience in the hopes of getting support and educating residents on the issue.

I am pretty sure if I arranged a play date with Michele, Dana and our 11 kids, there would be gluten free treats, (both women are GF) wine (we have 11 kids age 7 and under) and plenty of cluck talk. Can't we just gab about the newest products at Trader Joe's, or bitch about the season finale of Mad Men like all the other Mommies?

Michele is actually zoned for chickens- so she is literally "free to range" those birds. Dana on the other hand, is being challenged by the city and the current laws are not clear about the issue. I hope she gets to keep the coop because things like this should be judged on a case by case basis, and if anyone were to inspect her set up, they would be a little envious. Eggs aside, chickens are the new Golden Retriever in the suburban world.

In order to help bring awareness to Dana's plight, she hosted an open house. She invited anyone and everyone over to come and meet the chickens.




I had to go because I wanted to see first hand if she had lost her mind, or if in fact, the coop was cool. The kids loved the idea of greeting the chickens and when they saw she had refreshments, they were sold. Chickens and Cookies are a slam dunk.

The kids played in the backyard right along side the chicken coop.
r>The kids were much louder than the animals in question. If the city is going to ban backyard poultry, they should consider a noise ordinance on children too- just to be fair.

Do you hear any birds in this video?

;

No you do not, you only hear the squealing and high pitch whining of my dodo birds (children) who after our play date at the open house, might possibly be banned from Bexley.

For the record, the coop at Dana's is awesome. I would totally love it if I could pay my neighbor to have one like it. If I did not have to do anything other than fork over the funds, I would be a fan. I bet those eggs taste yummy first thing in the morning with some coffee. Who is game- Elsa? Laura? Julie?

Do not fear, I will not join this bandwagon. I have absolutely no desire to become a farmer. I will stick with my tomatoes and basil and call it quits. The only way I would have backyard chickens is if we moved to Utah, and I had a sister wife that was willing to handle that task. For now, Michele and Dana can be the pioneers in poultry.

I can appreciate their love of chicken ranching and leave it at that.

Gone are the days of my friendships with women that lolly gag all day at the club, gone are the shopping sprees, gone are the spa days, bye bye spending time sipping cocktails by the pool. My friends have flown the coop.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Benefit of Blogging

Today was grandparents and special persons day at the CHANEL school. My kids have all kinds of special people in their lives but most of them live elsewhere. This is when having a digital camera, a video recorder and a blog come in handy.

It was Eli's idea to video tape the event. On the way to school he was lamenting about how Nana and Papa were going to miss it. He put his finger up in the air and shouted, "I have a brilliant idea!" "Mommie you could film the program for your blog, then Nana and Papa can watch it on line!" He is always thinking. Natalie chimed in and said they can go to Helene.com and read it. CJ suggested I make a bid-eo. With all those comments I felt obligated to make sure I posted the footage.

We brought our local Grandma, Grandma Eileen to the event. She got a chance to sit with the kids as they ate lunch. We shared our Grandma with Maya, who has grandparents in Hawaii.



Since Maya's mom has infant triplets at home, the last place she would bring them is into the snot factory that is an elementary school during RSV season. I could totally relate, so we assigned ourselves to Maya for the day. In the grand scheme of things, what is one more kid to love on for an hour?

The singing portion of the program was really sweet. The kids knew most of the lyrics and about 75% of the hand motions.



They were excited to be on stage and it was like the paparazzi was called for the filming of this show, because every single parent and or grandparent was taking video. These are precious moments indeed. Grandma Eileen and I were quite proud of the little stars. Kindergarten kids are truly fun to watch.

So the benefit of blogging is right here in the sights and sounds of the Internet. It is the next best thing to being here in person.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My new love, the Market District at Kingsdale

I am in love. I am almost obsessed. I have a new found friend in our busy schedule. Introducing my new BFF, the Giant Eagle mega store in Upper Arlington, called the Market District at Kingsdale.

For those of you who know Columbus, YES, I am 25 minutes from this new location. Yes, the Gahanna store is 2 minutes from my home, but OMG, when you continue reading this blog post, you will completely understand why I am willing to drive 25 minutes to grocery shop.

You should know this store is a test pilot. If this concept is successful, the corporate powers at be, will be rolling these ginormous grocery godsends all over the country, so pay attention. Mothers of multiples everywhere can read with full jealousy over my new addiction-obsession-love affair.

Gone is the Eagles Nest. Here is the activity and learning center. A drop off day care facility inside the store where you can leave your 3-9 year olds for unlimited play time. YES, UNLIMITED. As in no time constraints so long as you are inside the store and have your walkie talkie. This area is staffed and open from 9-9, seven days a week. Hello, free supervised crafts, puzzles, games and educational toys- yeah, they had me at Hello.

We met my pal and her three kids bright and early this morning. It was a play date for both the children and their mothers. We each deposited our kids into the activity center and then grabbed coffee. While we relaxed and spent time meal planning, sampling and dreaming our 7 kids were being supervised by someone else. It was like heaven. The kids think of this as going to Chuck E. Cheese or Disneyland, and I do not have the heart to explain that this is a break for Mommie and it is FREE. What they do not know won't hurt them.

As for the shopping, it is like a gourmet grocery store on steroids. There is something for everyone. The selection is incredible. It is like a mega cruise ship of prepared foods featuring a crepe bar, smoothie station,



salad bar, sushi smorgasbord, and chocolatier. The photos do not properly showcase how any offerings there really are. I could have taken 100 images and still not shown every aspect of my new hangout.

I did score some tasty blue cheese stuffed olives from the antipasto/olive bar.

These make for a fine addition to a dirty vodka martini, which I am thinking about making right now. Damn this no carb diet. I guess I will snack on the olives minus the important and ever so relaxing vodka.

The gourmet cheese section is filledwith all kinds of International delicacies. I saw these microplane cheese graters and thought about replacing my exhausted pedi-egg.
This one claims it shreds coconut, so I bet it can handle my calloused and disgusting heels. Food for thought?

I cruised the gluten free departmentand found it to be diverse. The bakery has gluten free breads, cupcakes, brownies and tortillas in the freezer section. I was pleased to see so many GF labels throughout the store.

The kids played for more than two hours while my friend Dana and I leisurely shopped, browsed and critiqued. These little folks were starving when we got them back, so we fed them some of our food finds in the cafe dining area.
Dana's twins plus one, and my four made for a pretty picture.

While I am already buzzing from one end of town to the other, hitting Big Lots, Trader Joe's, the Raisin Rack and Costco, I can honestly say, without hesitation, this new find is my favorite. Any store that doubles coupons, offers fuel perks and willingly babysits my brood while I eat, drink and shop is tops on my list.

Come and say hi when you see me in the aisles of the new Market District Store in Upper Arlington. I will be the one smiling with the skinny cinnamon latte and the Mommy's Sippy Cup Martini tee shirt because I am in love.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photo Opp at Pick Up

Yesterday was an incredible Fall day- crisp and cool with the leaves a day or two past their prime. I drove around town with my windows down, the smell of Fall air and burning leaves permeated the streets of Columbus. In my opinion, it was glorious.

Charlotte's preschool sits on the most gorgeous piece of property, and as we went inside to pick her up, the sun was streaming in through the trees. I paused to scout out a photo spot, and I went upstairs hoping she was still clean enough for a quick session.

These are the beautiful photos I was able to take with my crappy digital camera and cute, cooperative children.





It makes me want to plunk down a small fortune for an SLR, because I can only imagine how incredible these photos would have been if I had a better camera.

I captured the smiles, the colors, the trees and the matching outfits that were still relatively clean at 4:00 after kindergarten and preschool classes. The smallest of miracles never cease to amaze me!

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