We woke up to a white, winter wonderland today! And of course the first thing the kids wanted to do was go outside and play in it! So without even taking off their jammies, I just piled a few extra layers, hats, and boots on top and sent them out the door:) The "fun" lasted for about 5 minutes before one by one they started to whine and cry about the cold. So, we headed back inside, pulled all the layers off, and everybody took a nice, hot bath. The rest of the day we just enjoyed from inside the house - where it's warm, dry, and for which it doesn't take an hour to get properly dressed!
So, my triplets are obsessed with Thomas the Train. Well, it's more like Oliver is obsessed and he projects that obsession onto his sisters by begging me to put on one of their Thomas the Train DVDs every morning, by dragging his Thomas the Train blanket around the house, and by carrying his little wooden Thomas the Train trains with him wherever he goes (lookout, Pooh, your days are numbered!) or ripping them out of the hands of one of his sisters should she be unfortunate enough to have indulged herself even in the thought of playing with HIS "Kah-mus" (that's Oliver speak for Thomas). I mean, the girls love Thomas, too, they just don't get as insanely excited at the DVD sounds of Thomas and his friends roaring across the tracks of Sodor. Oliver has even gotten to the point that he needs to take his little, blue, wooden Thomas train with him to bed to "cuddle" or he can't (well, won't) go to sleep. At least he doesn't try to wedge it into his mouth (yet) like he does with Pooh's arm. So a few weekends ago, I saw a train table listed on Craigslist. I drove over to see it and it was perfect. Solid wood (always go "sturdy" with three toddlers), just the right height, and with a removable activity mat for trains now...and then a white table underneath for whatever "activity" comes next in our house! I wedged that giant table into my van and then jumped back on Craigslist to find some train sets. That very same day I found a woman selling some Thomas the Train track sets and wooden trains! You should have seen the kids' faces when we went to pick that stuff up - I got in the car with a huge blue Thomas the Train box and they went NUTS. So basically, they now play at their "train table" from morning till night building different track variations and fighting over trains - and they LOVE IT.
Audrey is so grown up - her first real ponytail and reading a book (she actually opened the pages and said "Goodnight, Moon")!
Potty time x3!
Audrey in her tutu!
Ballet on chairs!
We got a little more than a fun weekend on our trip to Portland...we also got sick. The runny noses started, then the sore throats, and now we're all tired and achy. The kids actually seem to be weathering it quite well, and I'm learning that even when Mommy's sick, she still has to take care of three toddlers...no rest for the weary! Robert has even stayed home from work the past two days because he feels so crummy, so we've been housebound for over three days! But even though it's kind of boring being stuck at home for so long, the kids have still found ways to keep busy and have some fun. Here are a few photos from our "sick days"!
We have carrots - lots of carrots! They are mature enough - although I suspect in another 7-10 days they will be perfect - so I picked a few in the "thicker" areas of the carrot patch to give the others more room to grow. The triplets all said they wanted one and while I didn't quite believe they would actually eat them (raw, right out of the garden - just rinsed a tad), they actually did...and they LOVED them! I ran inside to grab the camera and catch my little bugs bunnies in action. They ended up eating about 5 EACH - not a bad way to get toddlers to eat veggies:) Robert barbecued chicken this evening, and we had corn on the cob, rice, and a delicious salad made with my very own lettuce and carrots, so fun!
Grandpa gave us one of his ice cream makers (he has started making some really "gourmet" flavors!) and although we haven't branched out much (we've made about 4 batches of good 'ol vanilla), we are just loving being able to make our very own homemade ice cream! Today I let the kids sit on the counter after I had everything assembled so they could watch it mix and spin - which was fine until Oliver tried to stick in his hand and Audrey tried to stick in her face!
After playing around with the recipe a bit - here is the "best" version of vanilla ice cream we've come up with so far! I'd like to do a little research on how to make a lower fat version - I can't even IMAGINE how fattening this is (and it's so yummy I simply can't eat just a small portion!)
Super Fattening (and delicious) Vanilla Ice Cream
(made in Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream & Sorbet maker)
1.5 C whole milk
3/4 C sugar
3 C heavy whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
Mix whole milk and sugar in a mixer by hand or on low for 1-2 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Add heavy cream and vanilla. Pour into ice cream maker and let mix/freeze for 25 minutes. Pour into freezer-safe bowl and let harden to desired consistency!
While Gracie was off boating with Grandpa Scott and Grandma Terri today, Audrey, Oliver, and I spent the day enjoying the (very) warm weather and sunshine. We went on a lunch date to Cascade Lakes Brewery and then after a THREE HOUR NAP we went out back and harvested our first crop of Garnet leaf lettuce and spinach! I don't know why I hadn't realized it was ready a week or so ago - the spinach leaves are bigger than my hand and the lettuce was so thick it was practically tangled! There was a TON to harvest - and it hardly looks like I made a dent in my garden! Audrey loved helping me put it in the right bowls (although I later found her ripping off broccoli leaves and adding them to the spinach pile!), and Oliver enjoyed taste testing the lettuce:) I had so much I was able to share some with our neighbors and we had a beautiful salad with our bbq chicken for dinner!
I often quote the verse "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right" (Ephesians 6:1) when I am disciplining the triplets, because I believe ultimately, they must learn to be obedient to their parents as a way of learning how to be obedient to God. I memorized scripture when I was a child in Sunday school, VBS, and at school, and I am so thankful for the many truths I learned when I was young, for they are the very verses which I still remember! I was going to make a poster for the triplets of just that verse to hang in their room, but when I googled it this morning (for poster ideas) I found this incredible site/poster of verses for every letter of the alphabet! I really can't afford to spend $40 right now (or I would have purchased this very one!), so I decided I would make my own budget version. I loaded the triplets into the van and we headed off to Michaels. They had a pretty limited "letter" supply (surprisingly), so I settled on these black and white letters ($5.99) and went from there. I found a black piece of poster board ($2.79), a white gel pen ($1.99), and cloth flowers - on the discount rack ($2.99). Total project cost just over $13 - and I think the kids will enjoy the fact that their mama worked so hard to make it for them (or at least that's what I'm telling myself:)) I made it today during their "un-nap" (we started using toddler beds last night so they spent their entire naptime bed-hopping and chasing each other instead of sleeping) and then hung it on their wall when they woke up. My goal is that when they get a little bit older and can repeat a few more words, I will teach them one verse (or letter) a month and have them say it to me every single day for 30 days before moving on to the next one. Just a fun, inexpensive way to decorate their room and adorn their hearts!