Oh My--They're THREEEEE!

We've had a whirlwind few days---and I have a feeling it's only going to get crazier as the girls get older....oy! Who's idea was it to have triplets two days after Christmas??? Oh yeah...AVERY! Little stink. ;)

I had a day break between our insane Christmas Day and the girl's birthdays to prepare. I asked them several weeks ago what kind of cake they wanted and they said, "Ummmmm......SNOWFLAKE!" (Yeah, I don't know what that means either.) So a snowflake cake it was! It took a lot of thinking and researching as there were several different ways to go about it, but I decided that I wanted to do a genoise cake and roll it (basically a jelly roll---minus the jelly) with white frosting and 3D snowflakes all around. Then a couple of days before the big day, I asked the girls if they wanted the cake to be chocolate or white (I thought that chocolate cake and white frosting would be a pretty contrast, but I wanted them to be involved a little more. I regret that now....) Then Jordyn said "I wan bwu sate!" Translated= "I want BLUE cake". Then she said "Ashy wan rey-ed". Translated="red". So I quickly agreed to blue since red would definitely not look attractive.

Hmm. Blue cake? OK I can do that. Pale blue. Just a *hint* of blue.

So as I made the cake, I notice that because of the eggs and two extra yolks, the cake is a pale yellow. OK elementary kids----what do you get when you mix yellow and blue???? That's right! GREEN!!

And apparently the color intensifies as it's baked. What we ended up with was a great St. Patricks Day cake!!

To make matters worse, it tasted disgusting. Holy heck it was gross. I decide to do a bright white Swiss Meringue frosting. I used, in both the cake and the frosting, the SmartBalance 50/50 butter cubes----50% butter 50% SmartBalance spread (canola I think) instead of 100% butter. I thought it would work. Nope. No, it didn't. Because the cubes were, I'm sure, artificially colored yellow, the frosting ended up sort of cream colored. And because of the non-buttery consistency of the "butter", the frosting became thin and deflated. And did I mention gross??? The cake tasted funny as a result and wasn't as light and airy as a genoise cake should be. Let that be a lesson to all you bakers out there. It's not worth it to try and cut the fat. Just use butter.

But at least the meringue snowflakes turned out OK---until they sat for a while and became soft and limp....I had to keep propping the snowflake points up so I could take pictures.

Oh well. Here are some pictures of the big day! Just be glad you only have to LOOK at the cake....hrumph.

The girls got quiet books from Gramma and Grampa, pj's from Nana and Papa and a set of princess plates, silverware and cups from Mommy and Daddy. We are saving the gifts from Aunts and Uncles for another day. We learned our 'presents' lesson the hard way on Christmas. Sometimes even a little is still too much. But how happy will they be when we whip out more birthday presents in a couple days?? I would be! Thanks to everyone for your generosity. We love our three little miracles!! HAPPY THIRD BIRTHDAY GIRLIES!!!

YES, two of them are not wearing pants...pretty much normal around here.


It's Christmas!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, joyful and marvelous Christmas. I hope we all remember "the reason for the Season", the birth of our Savior. I hope we all got more than we wanted or deserved! I know I did!

We had a great day, albeit a little over-stimulating for the girls---mostly Avery. We started out the Holiday and Nana and Papas on Christmas Eve where we opened one gift each and ate dinner. We delivered some treats to people and looked at some pretty Christmas lights on our way home. I wanted to start the tradition of going on an actual walk to see the lights, but Tony is sick (great timing, right?) and by the time we headed home it was pretty late and time for me--I mean, the girls, to go to bed. I stayed up until around 3AM getting things ready for breakfast in the morning and trying to set up presents and all that jazz. The girls woke up at 7:15 (a mite earlier than usual, of course) and I kept them out of the family room until 9:15-ish with the help of Micky's Christmas movie and daddy and eventually Nana and Papa. I think this will be the first and last year I will be able to get away with that long of a pause. But we always waited for family when I was little so I plan on continuing that tradition with my own family. And when they get older, I will instate the "you must give mom a good back massage before you can see any presents" rule when they get older. My dad had a pretty good idea and I think I will try and keep that tradition alive, too! :) After we opened our loot, we ate breakfast of Potato and Basil Frittata, Mini Dutch Babies with cinnamon sauce, mixed fruit and your choice of hot cocoa, spiced cider, herbal tea and/or orange juice. I wanted to get the bacon wrapped smokies done, but I wasn't able to get to it. I made them after the girls went down for naps and Tony and I munched on a few for a nutritious lunch. :) After the girls woke up, we went to Nana and Papa's for MORE presents and a Prime Rib dinner. Avery was pretty much catatonic at this point, so we left to go home early and *hoped* for an early bedtime. Needless to say I wasn't able to leave their room until 10:30. Oh well. There's always tomorrow! :) Here are a couple videos and pictures of our fun day! Love you all and Merry Christmas!!


Do YOU Believe??

We took the girls on our first, and *hopefully* annual, ride on "The Polar Express" train earlier this month. It was so awesome to see the excitement and wonder on their faces. I know that sounds cliche', but it's SO TRUE! This Christmas truly seems magical. You know the song "Christmas Through Your Eyes"? That's how I feel! I'm looking at Christmas through my children's eyes for the first time! And it's so exciting to me!

This is the first year that the girls are actually starting to 'get' Christmas. We've started to introduce Santa, and they are excited to see him! I wanted to get a Santa picture this year, but we decided not to push our luck. They still like him at this point and I want to keep it that way! :) We put up the Nativity and I explained to them what each piece was and that Christmas is when we celebrate the baby Jesus' birthday. Then I said that we give presents to each other instead of to Jesus, because that makes Him happy. Then we threw in the Santa part. (which, for the record, I'm not totally comfortable with. I really don't want to disappoint them when the "truth" comes out---I hate lying to them. But I suppose it's fun to take advantage of their innocence...just kidding!) It's part of growing up and I don't want them to miss out on the purity of Christmas during their childhood years.

So, in preparation for the train ride, we watched the Polar Express movie together. We decided they were just a little too young to really enjoy the show, but they saw the train and Santa and the whole jingle bell thing and it did it's job. We talked it up for about a week before we went. We did a little 'countdown' to the "Polar Express" ride and I even got them new coats to wear (which we needed anyway, but it helps to provide props).

The day finally arrived! We got all ready to go, coats and all, hopped in the car and----we waited in line FOR-EVEEERRRRR! Has anyone ever waited in line with three, 3-year olds?? Wow, not fun at all. Avery was sitting on the dirty ground, Jordyn kept trying to get kidnapped by wandering off and Ashleigh was actually really cute saying "Hi" to all the people around her and winning their hearts (as usual). That is, until two stupid elves came over and she clung to Tony's leg in fear. Thanks, juggling elves. Thanks. But soon after, the line started moving and we got to our train car. When I purchased the tickets online, they were about 15 tickets away from selling out the entire season. When I clicked on the only day left with more than one ticket (there were three), before I had a chance to check out, there were only two left. And, on the website, I swear that kids under 3 were free and just had to ride on an adults lap. I knew it would be difficult, but two could ride on Tony's lap and one on mine. So I bought Tony and I a ticket each and selected 3 under three tickets. When I received the tickets in the mail, the information said UNDER TWO were free. I was panicking that we'd get there and then they'd turn us away because they were too old to ride on our laps. We thought we would just get on "stand by" for as many additional seats as we could, but when we asked, they said they were "over-booked". Not sure how that's possible or why they would do something like that (other than to make a Ba-jillion dollars, which for sure they did) but when we gave them our tickets to exchange for boarding passes, they didn't say anything. Obstacle one, passed! Phew. Now on to obstacle two. I don't normally care what other people think, but I was really concerned that we would be packed like sardines next to some other families on the ride and they would be looking at us holding our three "obviously older than TWO children" on our laps (taking up every ounce of extra space) and think we were big cheater-cheater-pumpkin-eaters. I had visions of the girls crying and screaming to get off the train (after it was already moving, of course) and just having everyone glare at us, wanting to throw us out the windows. Positive thinking, I know! But I have to mentally prepare for the worst so I can come up with possible solutions to any problem in advance. Having triplets has improved my problem solving skills in many different ways, preparedness is one.

We boarded our train car and looked for seats, preferably away from everyone else. We saw that the seats were in groups of four, with two seats on each side facing each other. We picked a section that was all empty. We sat down, got situated and noticed that no one was choosing to sit in our section. No surprise. I probably wouldn't either. Then I noticed the guy coming around clicking the tickets (like in the movie) and I started to panic. He was, for sure, going to tell us to get off. That would be embarrassing. He came, I can't find the tickets, I found them, he clicked them and then says to me, in a sympathetic tone, "Once we start moving, you can move them to these seats," pointing to the ones across from us. He moved on to the next section and Tony and I looked at each other, puzzlingly. Then the train started moving and I had a sudden realization that we have all FOUR seats to ourselves! I literally started tearing up. How was this possible??They were "over-booked"!! It was truly an answer to my prayers. I was so concerned over my innocent mistake and I didn't want to punish the girls for it. I could finally relax and enjoy the ride. I wanted to etch every moment of this experience in my mind, not only so I could remember it, but so I could re-tell the story to the girls when they got older of their "first ride on the Polar Express"!!!

Here are some photos of our exciting day:

Waiting Anxiously in Line:


Finally in our seats!!

Yummy! Cookies! (the hot chocolate was a little too hot)
watching the world go by out the window.......
Ash looking at Santa for first time in person:

"I can hear the bell! I believe!"
Bye bye, Polar Express!