Birthday Week

Not much action here on the blog this week. It is birthday week. Whenever there is a birthday in this household, I spend a lot of time in the days preceeding getting ready for the day to make it as special as possible. Yesterday was J Boy’s 6th birthday. On Saturday it will be his party. All efforts this week see-saw between these events and keeping the family alive and fed in the meantime.

Hopefully next week I can share the particulars about the party. He’s into spies right now, so it will be Top Secret 006 party.

Yesterday he had a wonderful day. Of course the theme of most presents were all forms of intelligence gathering and covert operatives. He was totally thrilled.

Time to open presents with the family

The triplets loved the paper. Playing with it and eating it.

The cousins came over for afternoon tea.

They played hard with the new toys for several hours.

B Man and J Boy.

The cousins went home, Grandmother’s came and bestowed gifts and an aunty and Grandma stayed for dinner.

Presents for a Secret Agent from Grandma.

The menu of course was chosen by the birthday boy. Spaghetti Bolognaise, Soft Drink and Ice-Cream. I love doing a child’s dinner party. So easy! I did cook an awesome bolognaise, deciding for the special occassion I wouldn’t pour it out of a jar. Four hours in the oven. Delicious.

So, what happens around your parts when there’s a birthday? Do you spend lots of time preparing?

Continue Reading

Toddler T's 2nd Birthday

Now, in other news not relating to triplets. Yes, I know you are patiently waiting, and believe me, I’m trying to do something about it. All in due time.

In the meantime, I thought I’d write a post updating another milestone in our family. Toddler T is officially two, as of yesterday! And as you can see, this means his cuteness factor has double now that he has doubled his age. Even in his sticky, post cake condition.

I was just going to write: “On your child’s birthday as a mother you always pause and reflect on the day your child arrived in the world.” And then I was going to post a photo of the day Toddler T was born. Then I realised that yesterday was so busy, and I was so scatterbrained, that I didn’t reflect at all. Whoops. I’ll pause and remember now as I post a photo!

Oh yes. And that is why we do stop and remember these precious moments. There’s nothing like those first hours/days of life with your children. Don’t you love J Boy’s possessive hold? It says: “This is my new little brother and I will protect and defend him for the rest of my life. (Unless he messes with my things, touches my stuff or if I consider his behaviour annoying).”

So, two years later and what a pleasure it was to celebrate our little boy’s birthday. Toddler T is a simply gorgeous child who is guaranteed to melt the toughest of hearts. When he knows you, he is the best welcoming committee ever – even if your absence was a brief as a trip to the shops. He will see you return. Hi face lights up as he yells out your name, jump up and down with his clumsy toddler jump, (don’t tell him I said clumsy, he has worked very hard to accomplish two feet simultaneously jumping off the ground, it’s not easy, do you know?), come running to you and cuddle the first body part he can gain access to – normally your knees. These greetings are given generously to grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, even our cleaner!

Of course, first thing on children’s birthday agenda’s is of course presents.

Thomas is in vogue in our house now, so from Mummy and Daddy, an early engineers set.

From the triplets, a snapping crocodile.

But the absolute fav of the day, was a simple little Duplo motorbike from J Boy. (Hence why it appears in both of the above photos.) He told everyone he saw on his birthday about the bike! It was very cute, and a good indicator of future obsessions. Daddy is very proud.

The plan for the rest of the day was to keep it simple and end the day with a quiet birthday dinner with family only. Even though Daddy had a day off work, there were a couple of factors which prevented the simplicity and peacefulness factor.

1. Life with triplets is not simple.
2. Life with a large extended family is not quiet. Particularly when this includes 6 children 2 and under!

My day is now based according to the triplet’s feeding schedule in four hourly allotments. The block of time will begin with the first triplet’s feed. By the time all have been fed and burped and put back into their cots, 2 hours has passed. So then, all going well. I have two hours to do something.

Yesterday my day disappeared as such.

Session 1: Feed, breakfast, shower, general tidying up around house.

Session 2: Feed, make jelly with J Boy, grocery shop, You will be surprised how exciting this can be when you haven’t done if for a long time. Even if you are tearing up and down the aisles hoping that you won’t receive an emergency “Need triplet assistance” phone call.  I felt almost normal again somewhere in between the fruit and vegie section and the cereal aisle.

Session 3: Feed, Tried to get a power nap. Unsuccessful. 15 minutes total thanks to being accompanied into the boudoir with the birthday boy. Emerge from boudoir, still with head spinning in that sleep deprived state resembling jet lag. (I had been up since 5 am. with only four hours sleep, which combined with similar sleep patterns from previous days, has an accumulative affect.) Start issuing instructions to my long suffering mother who had arrived to help out. Iced birthday cake. (Another simple creation, in order to save time.)


A Birthday Train, Track and Tunnel Cake.

 Ignored triplets because they were still sleeping, despite a feed being due. This allowed me to continue to rush around desperately as people arrive doing all last minute jobs.

Session 4: Issue any empty handed adult relative a bottle of expressed milk and a triplet to feed. Continue to rush around. (I’m not sure what I did) Breastfed a triplet. Eat The Accountant’s speciality – gourmet pizza, made from scratch! Mexican Pizza was delicious last night. I was disappointed I didn’t get to taste his supreme, because The Accountant claimed it to be his best ever supreme creation.

(Pizza production had occupied The Accountant the past two sessions, while also caring for the big boys.) Give children jelly to eat. Well received.

Did the birthday cake thing. Well received. Especially from Toddler T! He treated it like a toy, driving the train through the cake. Poor Thomas had very trying conditions, with his wheels getting a little bogged in green icing.

Afterwards Toddler T opened some more presents. He’s enjoys ripping the presents open, although he often needs to be convinced to open them in the first place, since he’s often got other things on his mind/agenda. Once the project is underway he embraces it fully and gets very excited by the new toy.
It’s unnecessary to continue explaining what occurred in the remaining two sessions of this 24 hour period. Pre-dominantly because once everyone left, it consisted of my daughter crying constantly from 9pm until 3am.
Toddler T loved his party with his most favourite people in the world. He is such a blessed child to be born into such a loving extended family.
A big 2 year old looked after by his big cousin!
And so this next picture was the last picture of the day. In the contradictory world of childhood, it shows just how Toddler T has had a particularly brilliant day (or two!)
Because tears are easily evicted from your tear ducts when you’ve had a wonderful day keeping busy with your Daddy and big brother, and a previously active night celebrating your cousin’s birthday. And then after you’ve spent a few glorious hours running around in the pitch black backyard with your cousins and siblings at your own shin ding.
So when your brother takes your brand new dragon costume to look at first, tears signal that it is time for this particularly brilliant day to be closed by instantly falling into the satisfying deep slumber when Daddy carries off the birthday boy to bed.
Happy Birthday my little one. Welcome to the Terrific Two’s.
Continue Reading

The Boys Trip to Cairns

I started to write week 29 of my Triplet Pregnancy Journal, and then realised that I spent a page writing nothing about the pregnancy. I always write the journal in a word document for myself first. (Which is why if you look carefully in my first draft, I often have dropped gender/names that I forgot to adjust!) So, because the journal is a record for our family, I’ve decided to keep it there, but for this blog, I thought I’d still include it as a separate post, since it was a good tale to tell.

This week began by waving the boys and their Daddy goodbye.  They all travelled up to the warmer climate of Cairns in North Queensland to celebrate his sister’s 40th birthday. It was a shame I wasn’t able to go also, but completely out of the question, for obvious reasons. Not to mention the plane probably wouldn’t have become airborne with the triplets and I on board. Yep, the kilos keep piling on! Mind you, keeping a plane grounded would be preferable to going into labour mid-flight. But then again, it would be one way to make the national news.
After waving the boys goodbye, I received a phone call in a couple of hours time to say they had missed the flight. Since I wasn’t travelling with them, I had forgotten about our pre-flight routine.  It’s the one where The Accountant predicts the time it will take to travel to the airport. Then I go and do my own prediction and disagree with him, saying it will take longer. We will then argue the merits of our suggested time frames for a couple of days until The Accountant will extend the travel time and concede to leave a little earlier, just to make me happy. (Or shut me up.) We will then often arrive early to the airport and The Accountant, who is very fond of sleeping in will lament the fact that he could have stayed in his cosy bed a bit longer.
So this time I had left the timing entirely up to him. He left the house 10 minutes later than he planned. (To be expected. Especially when he had allowed 25 minutes from the moment the alarm went off to when he was supposed to walk out the door with two children.) I had packed a lunchbox for both the boys with some breakfast things like fruit, muesli bars and dry cereal for the trip down. Apparently right after Trent drank the juice he vomited. (Not expected) So Alex had to stop and clean that up. Then he got stuck in Brisbane traffic for another half an hour. (To be expected.) By the time he dropped the car at the car parking facility and arrived at the terminal he was 20 minutes late for check-in. Therefore he had to book a flight four hours later in the day. Soon afterwards I received another phone call. Trent had diarrhoea. Oh dear, the poor boy had caught my tummy bug. My unfortunate husband was trapped in an airport for four hours with a sick kid. I suggested there was a park nearby that might help waste some time and gave my commiserations to him for having to change the nappies. He went to the park, where Trent proceeded to fill a nappy which took my darling husband half an hour to change.

It was sometime during the afternoon that I suddenly realised that in the communal cabin luggage I had packed ample nappies for a two hour flight, but not nearly enough for a two hour flight + four hour delay + diarrhoea. I also hadn’t packed a spare change of clothes. I felt awful. They just made it to Cairns but needed to crack open the suitcase as soon as they were able to retrieve it from luggage carousel.

By all reports the trip was enjoyable for the three of them. Admittedly, Toddler T was at a disadvantage in the reporting back process, given his inability to construct sentences. Were he able to do, the report may not have been as glossy when he expressed his dissatisfaction with being left with a unknown babysitter for the first time all day and night on Saturday in an unfamiliar place. A did admit that he was crying quite a bit that afternoon. At least Daddy had returned during the afternoon for a cuddle was able to bath and tuck him into bed. And the next day at a family barbie on the beach, the T-ster stuck to his Dad like glue.
It did allow The Accountant to celebrate his sister’s 40th birthday at the Cairns Amateur Race Carnival during the day and have dinner with the family that night. I’m so disappointed that I wasn’t able to get dressed up for the race day! I don’t care so much about the horses, but it would have been cool to wear a hat, heels and a fancy frock. Their ride, a Stretch Hummer looked pretty cool as well!
The Accountant has received compliments on his brilliant fathering skills looking after the two boys with absolute patience and attentiveness. This I don’t doubt for a moment. He really is a marvellous Daddy. It’s not all Dad’s that would be brave enough to take a 1 and 5 year old on a plane alone and be responsible for them for four days. The boys came home loving the time they spent with cousins, aunt, uncle and grandparents – not too mention the sunshine, beach and lots of playtime.
Continue Reading

Cookie Monster Cupcakes

A quick post today to share with you the cupcakes J Boy took to pre-prep to celebrate his birthday with his kindy friends.

When I spotted these cookie monsters here I knew instantly they were a great kindy option. Primarily because I knew they would be simple, which was the theme of birthday number 5 for me. I mean, you don’t even need to obsess about making the icing smooth – you are trying to reflect a monster’s complexion after all!

I think the Serving Pink Lemonade cupcake’s eyes are a lot more reflective of the genuine cookie monster’s loopy cookie crazed eyes. However, my I don’t think my blog inspiration got the richness of an authentic blue cookie monster coat that I achieved.

The evening after Toddler T consumed one of these fine creatures. He took almost 2 hours to go to sleep, and slumber only arrived after he provided a brilliant blue nappy. (Happily it was The Accountant who discovered it.)

A last piccy. You have to angle the camera perfectly when you are 22 weeks preggo with triplets. Otherwise the shot looks like this.

Continue Reading

5th Birthday Celebrations

On Monday it was J Boy’s 5th Birthday. Don’t you just love a child’s excitement on these days? It started with an excited little boy running in and jumping on our bed. Of course he wanted his presents immediately and being the loving parents we are, we gave up any further plans to continue sleeping and headed out. J Boy had already scurried out in front of us and had been side tracked by the race track that he had received the day before. Daddy and little brother were happy enough to have a play with him.

Present time! He loved the Lego set we gave him and the binoculars Toddler T gave him were also a favourite.

Unfortunately Mummy forgot that it needed batteries. It’s a regular mistake I make with children’s toys, sadly. We went shopping during the morning and bought hot dogs for lunch and stocked up on the batteries then. Toddler T was supposed to go to bed after lunch. It didn’t go to plan, since I tried to put him down in his new big boy bunk bed. After putting him back to bed, over and over and over again, I gave up and put him back into his cot. However by now it all had become a revitalising game, so I admitted defeat and allowed him to come and play again.

This disappointed J Boy greatly who wanted to play unhindered with his new toys. Luckily for J Boy, Grandma came and deported Toddler T to her house. This also gave me the opportunity to have a rest while J Boy kept himself occupied with his new lego. When I got up we got to work making the birthday cake. The only time I had made a cake on the day of his birthday was last time I was pregnant. I swore I’d never do it again. It took me hours to make a train cake and I was so stressed trying to get it done in time for the party. At least this time I was experienced and had planned a very simple cake.

Due to me attempting to make J Boy a superhero cape the night before, and due to overwhelming tiredness I’d fallen short on time. Normally I stay up until at least 2am doing birthday preps, but this year it was 10:00p.m., lights out for me. And even then, I had no cape to present. I’d messed up the measurements and it turned out to be a slimline cape that was unbranded by any superhero signia due to me forgetting to buy the fusible webbing to iron the emblems on. So the cape is to be made another day.

Luckily for me, I had convinced J Boy to have a farm birthday cake rather than a spiderman cake. I knew that it needed to be simple since I’ve got depleted energy supplies at the moment.

The farm cake was a simple rectangle with green icing covered in green dyed coconut and chocolate icing for the dirt in the paddock. To make it a little more interesting than a plain rectangular cake, I built a hill in the grassy meadow – made out of gingerbread I had frozen in the freezer from Christmas. Then all we had to do was add the plastic animals, toy John Deere tractor and “The Bush” – a collection of yellow lollipops. (I can’t believe they were yellow – the wrapping was green!) Even though it was a super simple cake, J Boy loved it and was positive it was like Grandad’s farm. Sometimes I wonder why we push ourselves so hard, kids really aren’t hard too please.

Also to keep it simple, I had avoided the big party with all his friends, (for the first time). We planned to go to the local Mc Donalds, with the grandparents, aunts and cousins, and a one family we are very close to. We thought we’d give the kids a play on the playground, feed them a Happy Meal and get a relatively early night, especially since some of the kids had school the next day.

Would you believe, we arrived at Macca’s to discover the playground was closed? Of all the days, they had decided to bleach the playground and shut it down for a few days! J Boy was in tears and devastated. We decided to walk across the road and get pizza at the local tavern – which happily also has a playground. The kids were happy. It wasn’t an early night by the end, due to meals taking a bit longer than at Macca’s. Everyone was gracious though and J Boy had a brilliant night, and of course he was very happy to receive more presents!

My neice indulging in birthday cake!
Continue Reading

Marvelous Mud Cake

I have a recipe to share with you. It gets a high reccomendation from the J Boy. Tonight I literally found him on all four licking the leftover crumbs off the floor. I have no confidence that my floor was fit to eat off, let alone be licked.

We made a mudcake for The Accountant’s birthday. It wasn’t really made of mud, J Boy had quickly reassured Grandma when he was telling her about the cake. It was just pretend mud that tasted good.

I got the recipe from my new favourite cookbook of the hour, Janelle Bloom’s “Fast, Fresh & Fabulous”.

The Accountant LOVES mudcake. I’m ashamed to say I’d never made a mudcake from scratch. Mainly because it has soooo much chocolate in it, which is never a good thing for the hips, and not economical. But for a special occassion, it seemed like a great time to make one, and Janelle’s looked scrumptious.

Janelle’s recipe used expresso, but a lot of our guests didn’t like coffee so I emailed Janelle asking what I should substitute. Proving that she is such a super nice lady for real, not just on TV, she emailed me back within half an hour saying to just use boiling water. Since The Accountant does like coffee, I made two cakes, one with, one without. In the end, I probably could have made one big slab with coffee in it because it was only a subtle flavour.

Janelle’s Favourite Mud Cake
300g good-quality dark chocolate 200g butter, chopped
1/4 cup strong black expresso coffee
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup SR Flour
Thick cream to serve. (I forgot to whip mine up before the party, d’oh!)
1. Preheat oven to 160C, no fan. Grease and line base and sides of 20cm round cake pan. (Mine was 4cm deep and worked ok.)
 2. Chop 200g of the choc. Place chopped choc, butter and coffee in a heatproof, microwave safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered for 2-3 mins on High/100%, stirring every minute with a metal spoon until smooth. Add cocoa while warm, whisk until smooth.
3. Whisk in vanilla, sugar and eggs. Sift flour over the chocolate mixture and stir gently to combine. Roughly chop the remaining 100g of choc.
4. Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the choc over the cake mixture. Pour remaining mixture of the choc, top with remaining choc. Bake cake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre has moist crumbs clinging. Stand in pan to cool completely.
Chocolate Icing
200g dark choc, chopped
1/2 cup thickened cream
Combine choc and cream in microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered on high/100% in 1 min. bursts, stirring every min. with a metal spoon until smooth. Pour icing over the cake allowing to drizzle down the sides. (Wait for the icing to cook a bit for a thicker consistency before pouring.)

Continue Reading

Trent turns 1

There is few things in life that make my heart happier than celebrating my children’s birthdays. So hooray for the baby’s first birthday! You always have to have the first birthday cake photo, and I love this one capturing the thrill (and possibly sugar high) of eating your first birthday cake. Trent’s birthday was on Tuesday and he also had a first birthday party on Saturday. So he has now properly celebrated the momentous occassion of turning one, and now he can get down to the busy business of being one!

Teddy Bear Party – Games

The party went well, we had a first birthday Teddy Bears Picnic. The kids brought along their favourite teddy’s. Which was great for a game of “Musical Bears” which was basically Musical Chairs only instead of the kids sitting on chairs, they had to sit their bears on it. A little easier for that age group, and the kids LOVED it!

 

We also had teddy bear competitions We determined who had the biggest, smallest, best dressed and ‘fastest’. (Although no first place was declared in the teddy race and everyone got a prize!)

 

 

Teddy Bear Party – Food

After games we had afternoon tea. I was particularly happy with the service of this. I found some noodle boxes, which I bought in bulk which made them quite affordable. I wish I had found them at this price sooner, because I would have decorated the plain white boxes with glue and ribbon, perhaps some felt teddies glued on, would have also made a nice touch. But anyway, I filled the boxes with food and handed them out. So easy! It saved on preparation time, because I didn’t make a selection of goodies, the only baking was enough teddy bear shaped sultana muffins (nice and easy) for each child. I also included tiny teddies, chocolate teddy bikkies, a bag of fruit, a bag of gummi bears and a sandwich cut out in a teddy shape. One drawback was food wastage, as not all children ate everything. You could get the parents to choose the foods to go into the boxes to avoid this, but it would be a little more time consuming.

 

Teddy Bear Party – Party bags.

I couldn’t bring myself to buy cheap plastic toys that fairly promptly are disposed of for a one year old’s party. Instead I did goodie bags. (Bought the small clear plastic bags in bulk several years ago, had just enough left for each child.) I made teddy bear shaped sugar biscuits, iced them and put them in the bag with a few soft lollies. (in honour of the gummy baby and his little toothy pegs!) Much more economical, didn’t contribute to landfill and homemade always feels nicer to give away anyway!

Of course the birthday cake had to be a teddy bear! It’s actually become a family tradition. Mum made this cake for myself and my 2 sisters and brother. J bomb also had him. I was a bit rushed icing the cake, (was out the night before and didn’t start icing until 11:00pm. Eeep!) so I wasn’t 100% happy with him, and somehow I cut him so he was quite lanky. But never mind, the size of The Baby’s smile when he first saw the cake reassured me that bubs aren’t to fussed with the finer details!

 

It was a lovely party. The weather was lovely, pefect for children playing in the garden. The baby had such fun toddling around to his heart’s content, there was always someone to look after him! Being a social baby, he also loved having so many kids to watch and be around. I think it’s safe to assume he enjoyed the celebration.

On his actual birthday The Baby (for now, fast turning into The Toddler!) decided to start the celebrations quite close to 4:01am, the time he was actually born 12 months earlier. Needless to say, The Accountant and I considered this gesture completely unnecessary. In the afternoon his 4 cousins, 2 Aunty’s, Grandma, Grandad, Great-Grandad and Great-Nana came around to visit and help consume cake and teddy bear biscuits. Quite the family affair! Such a blessed boy to be surrounded by people who so completely love and dote over him.

 

We feel so very blessed that God has added Trent to our family. He is our little mischievious monkey, full of cheeky smiles. He’s cuddly and cute as pie!

Continue Reading