What Hump?

C came down with Scarlet Fever (which is just strep with a rash) over last Shabbat. I found the whole thing sort of disconcerting, because Friday and Shabbat he had a fever but no other real symptoms. I kept asking him what hurt and he couldn't specify. He had no appetite though. Shabbat afternoon he started complaining about the back of his neck hurting. By Sunday, he was covered in a sandpapery rash and we were off to the doctor. Scarlet Fever was the diagnosis and he started taking amoxicillin right away.

Monday, he was at Saba and Savta's while I was at work. In the middle of the day, I get a call that his neck is stiff, he is holding his head at an angle and can't move it. I called the doctor who said "Motrin and warm compresses, and check in with me later." When I got home later, I saw why Saba and Savta were slightly alarmed. C's ear was almost touching his shoulder and he was moving his whole torso to look from side to side. Tuesday morning was not much better, so we went back to the doctor.

I tried to convince C that he had a very serious condition called NintenNeck which was caused by too much time on the Wii and DSI (not to mention the Leapster and Club Penguin on Mommy and Daddy's laptop), but he didn't buy it. Even the doctor got in on it, telling him no video games of any kind for a month. C is waaay to smart for that, and didn't fall for it.

Luckily, it really just seems to be an irritated muscle from the swollen lymph nodes. Since all the other symptoms responded to the antibiotics, we are sticking with the warm compresses and Motrin. The doctor also suggested some range of motion exercises. He is slowly improving.

Meanwhile, we are getting a kick out of own little Quasimodo...or Igor. I told him that if anyone should offer to help him with that hump, he should reply "What hump?"

So in honor of C and his hump, and one of Trip'n Daddy's favorite movies:

Lighting Up

Chanukah is here!

Giving your children something they ask for is the most incredible feeling in the world. Not being able to do it is like ripping your heart out slowly.

This year has been a tough one financially in the Trip'n House. The fact the the Trips are getting older and more aware of material things has made it tougher. Last year, we were able to put the girls in dance classes. This year they asked for Gymnastics (A), Ballet (B), and Karate (C). We just couldn't do it. It really broke my heart. Since I have recently taken a part-time job, we are hoping that things are going to ease up a bit, but it might take a while.

Meanwhile, Chanukah has been on my mind for a few weeks. Philosophically, I believe in Chanukah Gelt, but the Trips are pretty young for that. They are just now beginning to get the concept of money, and that it is just not for giving Tzedakah. We are hoping this will help (a present from dear family friends):

So Chanukah presents it is. Since this year is tighter, I tried to plan a little more in advance. Watching the web for sales, I have had gifts arriving in bits and spurts for weeks. They have been sitting in their shipping boxes in the front room, waiting to be unpacked and wrapped. The Trips haven't suspected a thing.

People have been asking them what they want for Chanukah and the replies have been consistent:

1. A Nintendo DS(especially C)
2. A Wii
3. Things for their "collections" (the girls)

I was pretty sure that the first two were not going to happen, so I worked on #3.

A has started a collection of snow globes. She picked her first one in Sesame Place (Zoe) this summer and has been asking for a Cinderella and a Sleeping Beauty one. Thanks to a sale at The Disney Store, I was able to snag them, plus a few more for future surprises.

B has been talking about collecting Golden Retrievers ever since they saw the Buddy movies. Do you know how hard it is to find Golden Retriever toys that won't break the bank or take over the house? When I saw this one, I just melted and gave in. (I hope Trouble doesn't take issue with it!)

C already has an abundance of cars, Cars, and trucks, so I got him No Stress Chess. He loves playing Chess Titans on the computer and this one will help improve his skills. Maybe I can finally learn too!

Of course, there are many more suprises (including Up, which I just couldn't, well, pass "up") from us and UM & AM, Grandma & Zaide, and others.

But the most amazing thing has been the arrival of dream items #1 and #2.

My wonderful aunt and uncle gave the Trips a DS to share. Since they are about to be grandparents for the 5th time (B"AH) and we may not see them actually on Chanukah, the Trips got this one early. They have been waiting to play with it with eager anticipation, but honestly, Trip'n Daddy and I each wanted a turn first!

As for #2, we had received a gift certificate to Toys R' Us from old family friends. We were able to pair this with the incredible generosity of the S family, and Saba and Savta, and...it is in the house! The Trips have absolutely no idea that they are getting it, and I absolutely cannot wait to see their faces. Or play with it.

I wrapped up the presents last night with a full heart. They are going to be so happy. I feel so blessed that my children are going to get everything that they have asked for and want.

This is going to be a magical, light-filled Chanukah.

Speaking of collections and getting what you want, the always-spectacular-and-incomparable Trip'n Daddy has given me this (and I have yet to take it off):

It's been a while...

But since 2 out of 3 Trips are running a fever, it is a lazy Sunday in the Trip'n House. If this isn't a good time for an update, I don't know what is.

We are having a rough season. C had THE FLU. You know, the one that sparked the jokes about pigs flying...

Luckily, it wasn't that bad. He ran a fever for a few days, but otherwise was in great spirits. The scariest part was that since Trip'n Daddy's major health scare last spring, any minor sickness becomes a bit tricky. In the end, Thank G-d, Trip'n Daddy was diagnosed with a very treatable auto-immune disease and not the terrible disease we really thought it was. He is being treated with steroids, which is an adventure in itself. But the combination of the disease and the medication make his immune system really weak. So our pediatrician did the flu test to confirm it, and Trip'n Daddy got a round of TamiFlu.

Next, we were struck with a stomach virus. It has gone around the house starting with B, to me, to Trip'n Daddy (who of course had it the worst of any us, poor guy) then to C. Even Trouble threw up this week! Only A has been spared, but I am still waiting. It seems to have gotten eclipsed by this newest thing...

Now, A and B are running a fever, have stuffy, snotty noses, and nasty coughs. I was going to run them over to the doctor for a Flu Test, but he has taken today off (the nerve!) A strange symptom of this one is extreme talkativeness, which we are used to in A, but is really different for B. The combo of both of them is enough to give any adult a pounding headache.

Also of interest is that I have started a new job. I am working in the administrative office for a sleep away camp for Yeshivish/Bais Yaakov girls. The irony of working for a place that would not accept my daughters as campers is not lost, and some of the things I am encountering have provided much fodder for open-mouthed wonderment, snickering, and just plain confusion.

I will leave you with just one little morsel and feel free to try to explain it, because I don't get it. (Disclaimer: I am usually very tolerant of tznius rules and respect what is asked of me. But when things go from machmir to ridiculous...)

The girls are not allowed to wear skirts with back pockets...or front zippers.

Tuition money well spent!

First, I want to say that I met C's Rebbi and he is wonderful man who clearly loves his talmidim and teaching the important building blocks of learning to the boys.


C comes home from school today and turns on the stereo, blasting Shabechi by the Yeshiva Boy Choir.

(Press Next for Sample)

He calls out to me, "Hey Mom, look! I am playing the guitar!"

It was true. He was playing a mean air guitar.

Stunned that my 5 year old (who has never, according to my knowledge, played Guitar Hero) knew how to do this, I asked, "Where did you learn that?"


Shana Tova! Mah Nah Man Nah!

This one is for A, who loves the original and will play it whenever she can.

Shana Tova from the Trip'n Family everyone!

Polish up that MOY trophy...I am back in the running!

Today is the first day in the ridiculously long (3 weeks!!), post-camp/pre-school vacation. Since yesterday was the last day of camp, we celebrated this morning by sleeping in (me) and watching TV (the Trips.)

Somewhere in the midst of my blissful sleep, I heard the kids watching "Tasty Time with ZeFronk" on Disney Channel. All of a sudden, I hear "
Can we have blueberry pancakes for breakfast?" Through my mind went the following stream-of-consciousness thought "they are asking for breakfast, it is time to get up - damn - blueberry pancakes? I can do that - I went to Costco yesterday and bought blueberries - it'll be a treat - what time is it? - maybe it'll be brunch..." Inspired by ZeFronk (must be said with deep, throaty French accent), I got myself out of bed.

Downstairs, I scour the internet until I found the following seemingly easy recipe for Blueberry Pancakes :

2 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup fresh or frozen thawed blueberries, rinsed


In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; set aside.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl; add milk and melted butter. Stir egg mixture into dry ingredients; mix until batter is smooth and stir in blueberries. Fold in beaten egg whites. Bake on hot greased griddle. Makes 12 pancakes.

The Trips called Saba & Savta who are by AM & UM in Israel while I cooked. In an effort to keep down the mess and the amount of dishes that Trip'n Daddy will have to wash, I whipped the egg whites BY HAND.

In the end, I produced these masterpieces:

You can see the yummy blueberries perfectly cooked inside!

The Trips ate this:

PLAIN pancakes with blueberries sprinkled on top.

Luckily, I had foreseen this possibility and made half the batter without blueberries. Trouble and I enjoyed the ones with the blueberries inside. They were awesome!

For those of you who want to be inspired, here is where you can see Ze Pancakes with ZeFronk.

Also HIS recipe:

Ze Pancakes

• 3 cups whole-wheat pancake mix
• 1/3 cup blueberries

• Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Make pancake according to package instructions on pancake mix Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet and cook until bubbles appear over entire surface of the pancake. Flip the pancake(s) and cook for an additional minute. Repeat until all batter is used. Place pancakes on plates and top with blueberries.Makes 6 servings.

Just a bit easier. Oh well, I don't have any pancake mix in the house anyway...

When is that awards ceremony again?

Out of the Running, Again

Every once and a while, I have a (usually very public) moment with the Trips when I realize that my nomination for Mommy of the Year is going to be pulled. Sometimes it is letting them eat the wrong thing for breakfast, other times it is letting them listen to ABBA Gold over and over and over.
I have already written about the wonderful S family here. They have shared so much with our kids, not the least of which is their very special way of speaking. The Ss have a vocabulary all their own. I have to admit hearing my 2 year olds saying "nasty" was hysterical. Since the Trips spend so much time with them, some of their language has found its way into the Trip'n lexicon.

This week, C's bunk made a little book they called the Yellow Pages. In it, they had pages with titles like Favorite Color, Birthday, Favorite Camp Activity, Favorite Sport, Favorite Camp Lunch. Then they listed each boy in the bunk and his answer. So we learned (or confirmed) that C's favorite color is red, he loves swimming and hockey, and will always eat the camp's hot dogs and french fries.

I know you are dying to know what this has to do with MOY nomination and the Ss.

Trip'n Daddy gets to the last page of the book and says "OMG." (Well, he said the words, not the initials). I just knew this was not going to be good.

C's Favorite Food: Krapple.

Crapple (or Krapple, if you are C's Morah) = Cranberry Apple Kugel.


Yeah, no MOY award for me this year.

Words to the wise

Some brilliant advice on How to Talk to a Triplet Mom from Multiple Bliss. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Sour Grapes

C's camp has a canteen. They get a morning snack, lunch, and an afternoon snack, but this is not enough for most boys. They also need to have access to myriads of junk to eat throughout the day.

As parents, we are expected to send in $5-$20 so that our sons can have a canteen "account." Last year, I ignored it. I ignored the phone call from the Morah "reminding" me about the canteen. After camp was over, I found out the canteen is a scheduled activity at camp. Not regularly for the pre-school boys, but they did go periodically over the summer. Apparently, C's Morah had rachmanut on him and bought him a snack or two when she took the bunk.

This year, I was determined to ignore them again. But the Morah called me today (not about the missing shorts!) to tell me that C was the only boy without a canteen account. Could she lay out $5 and I would pay her back? She wants to take the boys, but only once everyone had an account. I caved. Told her to go ahead, and I would pay her back.

C comes home today to tell me that he went to canteen and got a whole package (1 oz or 3 oz? No idea.) of sour sticks. When I asked if he shared with his friends, he replied "No, they all got their own ones." Oh, and "And we got a SODA too!"

Grr. No 5 year old needs that much sugar.

Why should they have discretionary spending when they have no discretion??

P.S. C came to me a little later to say his mouth hurt. From the sour sticks. Grr.

Lost and Found x 2

C has been in camp for 4 days. On Day 2 he came off the bus and I immediately noticed that his Tzitzit were missing. He wears them pretty long, so the sight of his legs without the strings hanging down to his knees was pretty jarring.

"Where are your tzitzit?"

"I don't know. We looked all over the classroom, but Morah couldn't find them."

I was extremely frustrated, because I was pretty sure they were a brand new, still white pair. Later that night, we got a message from a mother of another boy in the bunk. "Hi. This is Mrs. W, Boychik's mom. My son came home wearing your son's tzitzit." I spoke to her later and she said she would put them in a bag with our name on it. We got the tzitzit back the next day as promised.

Today (Day 4), C got off the bus in his rainy-day sweat pants. His poor little face was bright red and he was completely shvitzed.

"Where are your shorts?!"

"I don't know."

This time, I gave him the third degree. "Did you see the shorts in your bag?" "When did you lose them, before 1st swim or after 2nd swim?" "Did Morah help you look?" "Who gave you the pants?" I got nowhere (I later learned that this was due to a sugar induced coma, see here.)

Now, I was pissed. I understand how hard it is to keep track of the various camp parephenalia of 16 5 year old boys. Every day they each bring a towel, 2 swimsuits, a shirt, tzitzit, underwear, shorts, socks, a hat/kippah etc. Tzitzit and kippahs I can understand, especially since they are on and off all day for swim. But SHORTS? C'mon, people.

I actually abused my position as a former "employee" and texted the Camp's Office Coordinator while she was in a meeting. Usually, I am a pretty low key, non-complaining mom. This just seemed like something that needed to be brought to their attention. Soon, before they lose MY KID.

So tonight the phone rings, and Trip'n Daddy (previously known as H) looks at the caller ID and says, "Do we know these people?"

"It's C's shorts."

And behold, it was.

One of the greatest tips I ever got was to label the Trips' clothing with our phone number. I have a stamp from erubberstamps.com for underwear, socks, etc. and this year I ordered the adorable Tag Mates from Mabel's Labels. They both have our last name and phone number.

And they work!!

(BTW- since I was on a roll, I also called the girls' camp today. They have been in camp for 3 days and have gotten off the bus an HOUR after camp was finished each day. It is a big bus, and even though the camp is about 7 minutes away, I understand that it might take some time to get the run done. That was not my issue.

They are not allowed to drink on the bus. Not the frozen juice box or the bottled water I sent. Totally unacceptable. 5 year olds, on a hot bus, for an hour, after a day in the sun, with no water. No wonder they are so cranky when they get home.)

Redeeming Herself

I know it has been a while, and for those who know me IRL, or follow me on Twitter, know that it is for a really good reason. I promise a longer post with a full update soon.

But I just couldn't pass this up.

During carpool this morning, we had the following conversation:

Me: (In response to another random piece of information about our family happenings that A shared with the entire carpool.) Thank you for the update. What would I do without my little news reporter?

A: I am NOT going to be a news reporter.

Me: Then stop practicing.

A: I am going to be a Vet!

B: I am also going to be a Vet.

Me: Wow, we are going to be a family full of Vets.

B: C is not going to be a Vet.

Me: Right, he is going to be a DaddyRacecarDriverPoliceMan

A: That's too many things.

Me: Why? I am a MommyWifeLibrarianMuseumPerson, or was...

B: I am going to be a LIBRARIAN! (Said with appropriate breathless admiration.)

Me: Really? That makes me really happy. Money isn't great though.

B: But first you have to teach me how to read.

Me: Deal!

Considering what happened a few months ago, I think she has redeemed herself.

(BTW - I am choosing to overlook the the part where she said "Morah Laurie is a Librarian!)

Needed Worldwide!

This Is How We Do It! (or the Ss post)

One of the questions people feel compelled to ask when they hear that we have triplets is "How do you do it?" 

What I want to respond is "Do you really want to know?"  I mean, the answer is so long, we'd be there all day.  Sometimes I just smile and laugh.  I used to joke and say "I work full-time!" (Can't say that one anymore)  So here are a few ways we do it:

1. We try to have a sense of humor. 

I remember the first time I was left home alone with the infant Trips. Of course the minute H left the house all three started crying at once. What can you do in that situation? Freak out or laugh.  I chose to laugh.  Then, I picked up the most hysterical baby and went from there.  

Or this past Friday, when the Trips had their 5 year old check-up at the pediatrician and I had to take them by myself.  The visit was going great and the doctor and I were using clever euphemism for the shots that were going to come at the end of the visit. Finally, we couldn't avoid it anymore and I had to tell the Trips that they would each need a shot.  Well, they ALL freaked out. Screaming, crying, yelling, running away from us.   I couldn't get angry. After all, they were having a normal, age-appropriate reaction, just times 3!  So I laughed. 

2. We have an amazing family.

Both Saba & Savta and Grandma & Zaide live within 4 blocks of our home.  From the minute the Trips were born (even before!) they have been supportive and helpful.  They care for the Trips and their parents.  They are generous with their time and babysit and shop like the Champion Grandparents they are.  We are so grateful for them and all they do for us. 

Our brothers and their wives are a great part of our support system as well.  They were all veteran parents by the time our Trips came around and are always there for us, ready to share experience, advice, and sometimes just an ear to vent to. 

3. Volunteers 

At the beginning, we had lots of different people who came to help with feedings, laundry, etc. Without them, we never would have made it through the first few weeks. As the Trips got older and the feeding schedule changed, the amount of volunteers slowly petered out. With 2 exceptions. The first is J, a friend from the school I worked in when I had the Trips.  She still comes every Sunday morning to give the Trips their breakfast and read them stories.  Her visits and H's benevolence allow me to sleep late most Sundays.  Those few extra hours mean so much to me.  I am incredibly thankful for her devotion and we all love her. 

The next are the S Family and honestly, they are SO important that they get their own listing.

4. The S Family

I can't believe that this is the first time the Ss are getting mentioned on this blog (they can't believe it either!) They are so much a part of our lives and "how we do it."  

CS and AS and their 6 children (S1-S6) live across the street from Grandma and Zaide. We really didn't know them before the Trips were born.  Right from the beginning, CS was one of the volunteers who would come by to help with a feeding.  She told me that her teenagers would like to come do feedings on Friday nights.  Since that was not such a popular time for volunteers, we were thrilled to have them.  First it started with just S2 and S3, the girls.  Then S1 (a boy) started to come too.  They each claimed a baby (A=S3, B=S2,C=S1) and would have feeding races, burping races, and other silly things.  We will never, ever, forget the sight of C "riding a roller coaster" or "reading" Harry Potter.   

The bonding with the Trips must have really stuck, because pretty soon they were asking if they could bring the Trips to their house.  I figured that CS had 6 kids of her own, so if she was up for it, we could trust he with our precious Trips. (I have to admit that this was pretty hard for me and H, not only because we were letting our kids go on Shabbos, but because we loved hanging out with the 3 coolest, funniest teenagers we'd ever met! Now that they are all in their 20s they are still some of the coolest, funniest people we know!)

So the Trips started going over to the S's on Shabbos.  The best part? The S children come and pick them up and drop them off when they are ready to come home. They eat there, play, go to the park, don't go on the trampoline...

Some of the Trips most important "firsts" have happened at the S house or involved the Ss in some way, including:

1. Their first taste of chicken, Pringles, ices, soda
2. A's first time vomiting on some one's bed
3. B's first pair of lost shoes
4. Bentching contests
5. First sugar highs
6. First teenage babysitters
7. First time breaking Mommy and Daddy's rules...

CS was incredibly helpful in teaching us how to give medicine to a fussy, uncooperative child.  She also shops for the kids and gives them some of the funkiest editions to their wardrobes. The shoes she buys the girls are far preferred then anything I buy them. 

Not to be left out, AS has also been extremely influential in the Trips lives.  He is a real kibbitzer and loves to tease.  The atmosphere in the S house is fun-loving, jokey, and happy.  There are tons of nicknames and family jokes. The kids are the same way and the Trips are treated like members of the family.  So, the Ss have also taught the Trips how to handle teasing and how to take a joke. 

With 6 babysitters in the house, I know I can call there when I need one, and 99.9% of the time, someone will be available.  (S4 never comes though, something having to do with Trouble).  My kids love all of them and the biggest treat is a visit from one of the Ss. 

The Ss are the best role models we could ever want for the Trips.  Torah and Chesed permeate all they do.  The men are all wonderful layners and know the entire Torah by heart. (Don't try to match them in Parsha knowledge, though S3 can really hold her own.) As I understand it, there is already great debate over who will be responsible for teaching C his Bar Mizvah parsha.  It's Shabbos Shirah and a tough one, but I don't have to worry, I know the Ss have it covered.   AS and S1 are members of Hatzolah and can be called on (and have been) to help with illness and injury for the entire extended Trip'n family.  CS is involved with the girl's school PTA, and bakes her own challah every week (!!!!) All of the S girls are bright and personable, and models of tznius with and ease and comfort we should all feel.  AS and CS are incredible parenting role models for me and H and with their help and influence we know the Trips are going to be as great kids as S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6 (but without the trouble with Trouble!) 

People have asked me how they can get some Ss.  My answer is "have triplets."  Other then that, stay away, they are ours!  We love them, thank them, and owe them sooooo much.

And that is "how we do it." 


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