Sunday, January 18, 2015

ABC Recap of MLK Weekend

I have quite a miscellaneous assortment of photos and stories to share, which lends itself well to an ABC update. Here are the ABC's of the past few days:

A is for Alice

I had the privilege of hanging out with this sweet girl and her older brother for several hours on Friday. Oh. My. Goodness. The few hours I spent made me giddy thinking about what all Amelia and Maddie will be saying and doing a year from now.  Maybe the two's won't be so terrible after all. (It's possible, right...?)

 B is for Birthday Party

We celebrated my nephew's birthday with a family party on Saturday. Jackson was so excited to jump on the trampoline and bounce house, play with his cousins, and eat cake. When it came time for cake, the trio huddled around Jesse and yelled, waiting to be fed like little birds. Jesse and I are quite used to this scene, but other family members found it amusing enough to video. James, Amelia, and Maddie are quite vocal when it comes to food.

C is for Christian Education Committee

On Thursday evening I decided at the last minute to attend the ministry team meeting night at church. I am not on a particular committee, but I wanted to stay informed and help brainstorm ideas since I'm the youth leader. Somehow, by the end of the evening I became co-chair of the CE team. This means I am responsible for planning annual events like the Easter egg hunt and graduation breakfast, as well as purchase Sunday School curriculum and ensure there are enough teachers for all ages. 

D is for Documentaries

I am a sucker for romantic comedies; Jesse loves scary movies and psychological thrillers. The only genre of film we mutually enjoy is documentary. We've watched quite a few documentaries lately, from seeking hallucinogenic drugs in the rainforest to the KKK in North Carolina. The most interesting one has been on sensory deprivation tanks, which are dark tanks where you float in saltwater.

E is for Elder nomination

After convincing myself that the CE team wouldn't be too much extra time, I received the following e-mail the next day:
"The elder nominating committee would like you to spend some time praying about the leadership of our church.  Your name consistently showed up from the input of members of our congregation as someone that they would like to see serve as an elder in the next class of Session.  The Elder Nominating Committee has discussed this and they think you would be a great addition to our Session!  You care about people, both young and old.  You have deep and honest faith in God.  And, you have this wonderful attitude of being willing to help out this church in any way you can." 
This was just the first of many paragraphs. The rest of the e-mail outlined the responsibilities of being an Elder. I am honored that I was nominated, though I will definitely have to strongly consider if this is something I can commit to fully.

F is for Friends & Fish

We went to a friend's house for a playdate. The triplets were entranced by the fish. 

G is for  Great Clips

Jesse received a Great Clips coupon in the mail for a $5.99 haircut. Since he's letting his hair grow out, I used it this evening. It was my first haircut in several months. I told the hairdresser I didn't care what she did, as long as she didn't cut any bangs. She ended up cutting about four inches off. I don't feel attached to hair, but I did get nervous when she got the clippers out and started trimming my neck. I haven't washed it yet so I might hate it in the morning, but for now I love it.

H is for Hats

My sister has passed down all her adorable girl hats and mittens. I'm obsessed with how cute Maddie is in this hat!

I is for  Insurance

I haven't had health insurance since 2013, shortly after giving birth to the triplets. We looked into Obamacare last year but it was significantly cheaper to just pay the penalty. I would really like to find a different birth control, so I finally applied for 2015. My coverage should begin by March 1. 

J is for Jesse

He even has a mug to prove it.

With exams and MLK holiday, Jesse has had a long weekend. He's such a good daddy! He spent the morning playing and crafting with the boys while I took the girls to church. 

is for Kid's Play Area

We ventured to a fully enclosed kid's area at a local mall. The trio wasn't quite tall enough to climb a lot of the obstacles. That didn't stop them from trying! They were so happy to have a change of scenery and I was happy to know that they couldn't run away.

L is for Library

Confession: The library is my least favorite place to take the kids. It stresses me out more than any other place because the trio like to climb on the tables, smash the keys on the keyboards, throw magnetic letters off the whiteboard, and pull books off the shelves. They are by no means menaces, but it can get out of control quickly. I've finally learned to only let one or two toddlers out at a time and keep one or two in the stroller. Jackson tries to entertain them with a puppet show. 

M is for Money

I'm starting to stress again. Jesse got a raise this fall after a six-year frozen pay scale. While that should alleviate financial stress, the raise was just enough so we no longer qualify for assistance with food. And I'm also adding health insurance to our monthly bills. I know we'll be able to pay all our bills and put a bit in savings with our tax return, but there won't be any leeway. Our funds are just tight enough to make me feel guilty about staying home and not getting a part time job. 

N is for  Nashville

Our online triplet group is planning their second annual weekend getaway. Last year the trip was in Chicago. I could not attend because it was not in our budget (holy airfare!) and it was the same weekend as the trio's first birthday. Because our group is international, we decided on two trips. One will be in Vegas, the other in Nashville. I somehow became responsible for organizing the Nashville trip in August. Thankfully, other women have taken on much more leadership in researching hotels and group activities. 

In case you're thinking, "Didn't she just complain about not having money?" I'd like to clarify that the expenses should be very reasonable because I am carpooling with other moms and sharing a hotel room. The biggest expenses will be food and entertainment. I have no issues leaving the kids for two days (as much as my MIL thinks I do) because I pretty much spend 24/7 with them and am ready for a break! Plus, the trio will be two by that point and I spent the night away from Jackson when he was 18 months old. I am ready for a break and a chance to spend time with fellow triplet mamas.

O is for Orphan Train

Our January book club meets next Sunday to discuss Orphan Train. I haven't finished it yet but I'm enjoying it thus far. Between this and The Invention of Wings, I am on track for two novels per month.

P is for Playdates

Cold weather may prevent us from going to the park, but it can't keep us away from our friends. My mom friends and I were overdue for adult conversation and our kids were all tired of being stuck at home. Hooray for fun playdates.  As a bonus, we were able to make phallic play-doh mountains. HA!

Q is for Questionable Attire

This is the second time this week that one of the kids has woken up from a nap without a shirt. They wiggle out of pajama pants all the time, but losing a shirt is a new talent.

R is for Reptiles

The children's museum had a reptile program where you could touch a snake and turtle. Jackson was super excited to meet one of his friends at the museum. The two played together before and after the program. I was surprised Jackson touched the snake, but I think he was more willing since his friend did. As the leader weaved in and out of the audience, she totally dismissed the trio. Maddie walked right up to her and pointed at the turtle. Maddie was able to touch the turtle shell after all.

S is for Secret Sister

Secret Sister is another online triplet mom thing. We signed up through Elfster and were randomly assigned a name of another 2013 triplet mom. The goal is to send cards and gifts throughout the year to the mom and/or trio. My SS already sent us finger paint, construction paper, and healthy snacks. So thoughtful! (Full disclosure: I haven't sent my SS anything yet! I bought specific items but haven't made it to the post office.)

T is for Trampoline

As previously mentioned, part of my nephew's birthday festivities included playing in a bounce house and trampoline. This was the first time the trio had been on a trampoline. Maddie and Amelia were happy, but James was over it. Jackson had a blast on everything.

U is for Urban dictionary

I think I mentioned this a few months ago, but talking to teenagers every week makes me feel really old. It is like they are talking in code. We were discussing how teenagers and young adults often feel lonely in spite of having 500 friends on Facebook and 300 followers on Instagram. One of the girls said, "Yeah instead of having real conversations with a guy, he'll just text, 'Be my bae.'" Urban Dictionary has become my main resource for keeping up with lingo.

V is for Vintage style

Since the majority of the girls' wardrobe is hand me downs, I have no clue where these dresses came from or how old they are. Either way, Amelia and Maddie kept it classy this morning at church. 

W is for  WIC

WIC checks are issued with the exact date every month, even though the appointments to pick up checks are not on the same date. For example, the checks are issued on the 15th, but my appointment isn't until the 21st. This means I won't receive those groceries this week, but next week I'll have to double up because the checks I pick up will be dated for a certain window of time. I'm not complaining since it's free, but their whole system seems unnecessarily complicated.

I am absolutely dreading our WIC appointment. Jackson has to miss school because he has to be weighed and checked, as do his siblings. We will spend the majority of our morning in the waiting room of the health department, aka breeding grounds for the flu. I hate the way the workers herd you along like cattle without even making eye contact. All of this and we might not even qualify anymore. 

X is for X

(Nothing about this story is particularly interesting, but I had nothing else for the letter X.) 
On the ride home from the birthday party, Jackson declared, "I can make an X with my feet." Jackson isn't great with letter recognition, though he seems to know X rather well. This launched a conversation about words with X, which provoked the song "What Does the Fox Say?

Y is for Yearbook

I've finally begun working on our 2014 family yearbook. I had started it in November on Jesse's desktop but ended up having to start over on the laptop. I thought 2013 was our biggest year as a family but it turns out that I took significantly more pictures in 2014. It's such a colossal task to document an entire year! My vision begins to blur after so much time on the computer.

Z is for Zapped

This is what James looked like on Saturday evening. After multiple play dates and parties on Friday and Saturday, the boy had reached his limit. 

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