Wow, did I get off track or what? But, I do think I have at least a pretty good excuse - three five year kids sure can keep a person busy!

I've decided to revive my blog and start posting regularly again. I've asked my partner to help with the blog too, so you will also see posts from Season from time to time.

Wow, did I get distracted!

I can't believe how long its been since I last posted on this blog. Crazy how fast time goes by. So much has changed, but so much has stayed the same. The kids turned 5 this summer and started kindergarten a few weeks ago. They amaze me everyday. They also try my patience everyday. I'm not quite the mother I thought I would be because I've realized that there is no ideal way to do this. I do a lot of things I never thought I would (let the kids eat hotdogs) and do other things I never knew I was capable of. But mostly I just try to do the best I can everyday. Some days I get it right, and other days I have to just laugh and let it all go. After all, will it really kill them if I let them have ice cream for dinner tonight?

The Nutcracker

The kids performed in the Nutcracker on saturday night.  That is Lily in the center.  They were cast as "Maypole Angels" and while their performance was short, it was really cute.  They all loved being on the stage and say that they want to do it again.  They will be in another recital in the spring. 

More pics are at flickr    a video on youtube     

The trips take a trip

I had to go to Canada on a business trip and decided to turn the trip into a little vacation for the entire family. I grew up in Rochester, NY and the seminar I was attending was just a few hours north, so the logistics were perfect. We started our trip north by stopping in Lynchburg, VA to visit with Season's family -- and it was especially perfect timing since her brother Kendall was home visiting from New Zealand. Here is Kendall with the kids.

Season and Kendall took the kids out shopping and they found some really great Halloween costumes on sale. Check out what they picked out!
The kids were so excited to see their Poppy and Grandma Gail. What was really cute is that they thought we were going to their "Beach House" because the last time we saw them was when we all stayed at the beach. I had to keep telling them that Poppy and Grandma don't live at the beach house! Although it was a really short visit, we all had a great time.

So next it was off to NY. The kids did really well in the car -- a lot better than I expected. Of course, having a DVD player in the car helps tremendously! We brought some of their favorite movies and toys and they did great. We stopped at a rest station and let them run around for a while. They didn't really want to get back into the car, and in the end we used bribes of toys and sweets. It was supposed to only take us 8 hours or so, but with some traffic delays and stopping it was more like 12.

When we finally got to Rochester, we split up and I went off to Canada and Season and the kids made the rounds with friends and family. We hooked back up after a few days and had some fun with our friends Laurie and Mary. We crammed a lot of fun stuff into a short time and boy did we wear them out!

On the way to my sister's house Will announced he didn't feel well and then proceeded to puke all over himself. Having gone through this before on our beach trip, Season and I were prepared and had him and the car all cleaned in up in no time and we were back on our way. He had (still has) a bit of a cold, so it was hard to say if it was car sickness or something else.

We had a great time visiting with my family. Lily especially loved playing with her older cousin. I think the boys would say they liked the cupcakes from Aunt Kathi the best. And, we had a fun time getting some good family pictures of all of us! But, once again the visit was all too short and it was time to hit the road again. We really wanted to stay longer, but we thought it would be better to split up the trip back too. So, we left after dinner and just drove as long as we could stand it. Will did get puke one more time, but after that it was smooth sailing.
Of course there are pictures of everything we did on flickr (use the link below). I arranged the pics in groups, so be sure to check them all out - like the pumpkin patch, preschool field trip, vacation fun, etc.

Dance class and wee3 antics

The kids have been taking dance classes and they really like it. They especially like having ballet and tap shoes. They don't let parents in to watch and I'm dying to see what class is like. It must be just adorable to see all those little 3 year olds dancing! They do have a few times when parents get to watch and I can't wait. I'll definitely be video taping that (if they let me I guess -- and if not, I'll still try to sneak it!) They are also going to be in the Nutcracker. They are cast in "Maypole - Act II."

Other cute stuff: We've had our first case of faking sick to get out of school. I couldn't believe it. It was Avery and he faked coughing and said, "cough cough...I too sick to go to school....cough cough." Nice try though. I'm in serious trouble with that. I was worst about not wanting to go go school. Karma and all I guess.

We also were having some regression with the potty training. We realized the accidents began right around the same time that the reward incentives stopped. So, we instituted a new "poop in the potty and get a balloon" system. The kids just love balloons and will do most anything to get one. So that has really worked. So far anyway!

Potty Training Update

We had our first "no accidents at school" day!!! Of course we are still having accidents -- lots of accidents really -- but we were very excited to have all three have an accident free day at school. Will is almost completely potty trained. He rarely has any accidents and sometimes he just runs into the bathroom all on his own. Lily is doing really well too. She doesn't like to go to the potty in public and she has a tendency to hold it as long as she can. Sometimes we just have to convince her she really needs to go! Avery is a bit more wishy-washy. I think its more that he doesn't want to stop whatever he is doing to go. And, it is often hard to get him to come inside to go too. But, he gets really excited and proud of himself when he does do it. They all do. They love to get their stickers put on their charts. When they fill up a card they get a special day out with mom or mommy. Will and Lily have already gone to Tweetsie Railroad with Season and Avery is going to get to go on a hike as he is a total nature boy.

Visiting Poppy and Grandma

Season took the kids to visit Poppy and Grandma and everyone had such a good time. They kept them really busy with trips to the playground, out for ice cream and running around. They also went to a carnival and there was one of those big bouncy houses. Lily and Avery loved it, but Will got scared and Aunt Fleming had to climb in to rescue him. There was also a giant inflated slide. Check out the pics:

Kinder Soccer

The kids go to soccer twice a week for 45 minutes. The first day we couldn't really get anyone to participate -- they would rather just run around and pick up rocks. The second time they really loved playing a dribbling game version of "green light - red light" and they got a big kick out of freezing when the coach yelled red light. But, soon after that they were dropping like flies. Avery was the first to quit and Lily followed soon after. Will stuck it out for a while longer, but I don't he was all that happy about it! In the end, I love it because they have the kids run up and down the field a few times which works wonders for bedtime! And, of course I love it because of the great photo opps:

Riding Bikes

Everyone can ride their bike now and they have so much fun. Most of the time they ride around in circles on our patio. Its about 10x12 and the three of them speed around with near misses laughing all the while. It brings to mind those stunt riders you see riding in the giant globe cages at the circus. We live at the end of a remote street and there are really aren't many other houses anywhere nearby. So sometimes we all go to the road and they ride around with a bit more space. I wonder how long it will be before we take the training wheels off! Here are the pics:

Silly Summer

We are having a fun summer. The kids are so silly they just keep us laughing all day. They all love to dress up and where all kinds of crazy combination of things. We have been working on potty training and it is going pretty well so far. Will is the best at it so far. He just lets us know he has to go and we run to the nearest bathroom. Sometimes he just runs into the bathroom and goes all by himself! Lily also is really good about it. It took her a little while longer to get into the routine, but now she lets us know all the time. Avery doesn't really like the idea too much right now. He'll go if you ask him, but he doesn't seem to realize when he needs to. He drinks so much water that he usually can go anytime you ask him!
Season started a sticker chart to reward the kids when they use the potty. After they fill up their charts they get a fun outing all by themselves. Will and Lily have earned enough stickers to do something fun this weekend, so Season is going to take them each out to Tweetsie Railroad Amusement park nearby. The LOVE Tweetsie...there is an actual real size train that they can ride, plus all the other fun kid rides like boats, planes, etc. Link to more pics:

The Hair Cut

Avery's hair was just getting out of control. He was starting to resemble Ellen Degeneres so much that I was thinking about sending in a photo to her website! But, he would not let me cut it. We tried getting his haircut at the place where his dadaw gets his cut, but it didn't really go that well. So, we kept putting if off, hoping I guess that it would just magically stop growing or something.

Then, his dadaw said that he would take Avery with him when he got his haircut on Saturday. Avery really wanted to go on a outing with his dadaw, but still wasn't buying into the whole haircut thing. I quickly resorted to bribery and offered him the prospect of getting a firetruck he had been coveting for weeks. Bingo!!! He was off in a flash. Later that day he came back with his dadaw and memaw and proudly showed off his smartly clipped locks. Here is pic of dadaw and Avery showing off their new haircuts!

First Day of Pre-School

The kids were so excited to get their own backpacks (or packpacks as they say.) And, they were also very excited about going to school. We all got up and had breakfast together and then everyone brushed their teeth, got dressed, put on their shoes and combed their hair (with a teenie bit of help from us) and we were ready.

They had a great first day and no one cried at all. In fact, it was a very special day because each kid went to the potty and did not have any accidents. We were very proud!

They will go to school half days, 8:30 - 12:00, mon, wed and fri. They eat lunch at school too, so they each got to get a new lunch box too. Of courese, there are plenty of pics on flickr:

Fun shots on flikr

I've posted some great shots that Season got the other day while the kids were playing outside.

Music Camp Crafts

Each day the kids came home with something they made that day at camp. They made tambourines and drums and even came home with kazoos and recorders. Those were a bit loud, thank you very much! Cute stuff though and kids were so proud.

Early Mornings (for us anyway!)

Well, let me tell you it was quite an adjustment actually having to be somewhere each morning by a certain time. Here are some cute shots of the kids first thing in the morning. The class didn't start until 9 am, but it might as well have been 6 am to us! We have had it quite leisurely as far as the kids sleep habits go. They generally do not get out of bed until 8 or 8:30. So having to wake them up and get breakfast, etc was an adventure in timing and patience. Also, we have really been working on potty training this week, so everyone had to use the potty before they left. As an aside on that topic, Season read that one way to approach potty training multiples was to start with the same routine each morning, and then let them go back to diapers for the afternoon and evening. They are all at different levels so its kinda of hard to coordinate everything.