Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Happy Chef

Tony has been working at the Hearthstone Grill for a few months and since being there has been doing a little bit of everything.  He was a server/prep cook and most currently pizza maker.  He's also been inspired to help out with coming up with new desserts and new menu items.  Other than a few other workers that he's not too fond of, he likes it and lately he seems really happy.  Happier than he's been in a while.  I think having something else to look forward to and feeling needed by someone else was just what he needed.  I think the owner sees what an asset he is and the past two weekends he ends up working late to help out.  This past Sunday he was late getting home and explained that there was a reservation for 8 people and then nearly at the same time another table of 8 came in and didn't want to leave the rest of the staff 'in the weeds' because one of the other chefs had just been let go earlier in the day!  I can honestly say that this is most dedicated I've seen him with any of his jobs and that's really nice to see.  I even caught him shaving his arm hair off the other day because I guess he was tired of burning off his arm hair reaching into the oven so he just decided to take care of it ahead of time.  The job itself brings with it, its own set of drama, but I love how he comes home and wants to talk about what happened and how he stayed late to sample some of the new beers with Mark (the owner) that he just got in.  I love how happy he is.   

The other day, he got a package via UPS and the outside of the bag read "the happy chef".  Inside were a few chef hats - the kind he likes best and a few aprons if he ends up waiting tables again.  Of course the babies wanted to try on daddy's hats and we're glad they did - because it was super duper cute!

See for yourself!

Photo: Do you have the case of the Mondays? Come join us and let us help you bring in the week with some delicious food and amazing service!
This is the pizza oven at HearthStone where Tony spends his weekends!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Last week at work

Tony brought the kids by to work during my lunch hour last week after a Sam's Club run.  They were running around in the courtyard while we ate our lunch.  Here's a few pictures of how cute they were in their new overalls!

Ok, I know!  I have three kids and only two are here.  I never got one of Olivia - well not a full one.  The top shot has the back end of her...

Maybe next week!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thinking of giving in...

We started cloth diapering when the trio was about 2-3 months old.  We used disposables up until that time and always kept a small stash of 'sposies' for when we went out or if they were going to Grandma's house.  In the past few weeks, since going on our road trip and using disposable diapers the entire time while at my parents house and having at least one leaker in the mornings, we've been contemplating the switch. 

The idea of cloth diapering was originally Tony's idea.  I was all for it since I fancy myself a 'green' person, but was really going to leave it up to him since he was going to be the one staying home and primarily the one doing the diaper laundry.  We called a local diaper service to learn a little more about how they work and received a phone call back about a month later and even then, the person that called back didn't know too much and indicated that they would have someone else call back with more details.  Which never happened. 

We started doing a bit more research and with the availability of most cloth diapering websites, you can order and try them out for about 2 weeks and if you're not happy with them, you return them!  So we originally ordered a couple of a few different brands including Econobums, Flips and BumGenius.  All of these brands seemed to be so bulky on them and didn't end up loving the pocket type of diaper and we made the switch to Best Bottoms.  We've been happy with them for the past 2 years with the exception of a few problems here and there with covers coming apart.  We've changed our wash routine a few times too in order to get just the right mix of washing soda, borax and oxyclean.  As of a few months ago, we started to notice some holes in some of the diapers and really bad wear, thin spots and the snaps that hold the insert to the cover coming very loose or off completely.  It's just been getting worse and worse over the past few months.  At time stage in the game, it doesn't make sense to buy more inserts -  hopefully they'll be interested in potty training soon. 

So this brings me to our current dilemma - to continue with cloth or switch to disposables on a regular basis.  Some pros for cloth - better for the planet - I have to admit, I've always felt a little proud telling people that we cloth diaper our triplets.  I think alot of people were impressed that we went this route - some thought we were crazy - maybe so!  There is also no more money being spent for cloth diapers.   Hmmm... what else?

Some pros for disposables - alot less diaper changes!  Using cloth we'd typically change diapers (x3) when they wake up in the morning, around 10:30am, after lunch/before nap, wake up from nap, before dinner and then again just before bedtime.  That's 18 diaper changes daily - not counting the surprise ones.  Olivia had a time where she'd only poop once she was in a clean diaper!  Using disposables, we can usually get away with 3-4 changes throughout the day - so max is about 12.  I know it doesn't seem like that much of a difference, but believe me, it is!  Just getting everyone upstairs and to their room on occasion is a challenge.  They like to go into every other room and the fact that 2/3 can open up doors (by turning door knobs) they can go where they want - which is not always where you want them to go!  This frees up a bunch of time that we can be doing other things. 
Another pro is less laundry.  Lately, the diaper laundry takes quite a while.  I'm not sure why but the pee smell doesn't seem to come out as easily with one rinse and then one regular wash cycle.  It's  been taking 2-3 wash cycles and that uses more water/soap/etc.  So are we really saving?  There is less other laundry too because we don't have as many leaks.  

So there you have it!  I think the decision is pretty clear.  It's the end of cloth as we know, but I'm not feeling so fine.

Friday, September 13, 2013


Back when my trio was one month old, I joined my local chapter of a Mother's of Multiples Club (Central Jersey MoM).  I figured I'd find some comradery with these other women because they know what it's like to raise multiples.  I've since because the secretary of the club and have started to write a monthly submission in their newsletter.  I was told that each and every officer was expected to write up something for the newsletter so I decided to write about what I know and like.  I chose to write a series on couponing/saving money.  It's pretty short and to the point, but here's my submission to the October newsletter.

With Halloween nearly upon us and candy purchasing abound, why not make some money back?  How?  Ebates!  I discovered Ebates a few months ago when searching for some special candy for my trio’s birthday party.  I ended up finding it at an online store called Old Time Candy ( and just for signing up on Ebates and clicking on their link to order my items, I earned about 5% back on my purchase!  It’s not limited to candy though.  You can search over hundreds of online retailers and sometimes earn back 10% of your total.    Why not try it – it’s free to sign up for Ebates and if you shop online already, you should be saving on everything you buy.  You can even refer friends and get $10 for each one and they promptly mail out your “Big Fat Check” every so often with your earnings.  This is a win win in my book! Feel free to help me out – click on the link below if you decide to order anything through Ebates.

Of course, everyone is encouraged to click on the link above and earn me some extra cash!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our Bedtime Story :)

Melanie decided to videotape our story tonight...

Our First Road Trip!

At the end of August, we set off for our first road trip to visit my family and to attend my 20 year class reunion.  We had decided to start our trip after I got home from work and do the overnight trip so  the kids could sleep through the whole thing.  We got them fed, bathed and pj'd and loaded up in the car by about 9:30pm and started our trip shortly after because Tony's dad decided that this was the perfect time to take a look at someone's tax return (don't even get me started...).  Tony began the drive and lasted just a bit longer the kids.
 I took over and got really tired at a few points, but shortly after pulling over got another wind and was off again.  We arrived at my parents house at 5:30am.  The kids had been awake but quiet for the past hour or so and wanted to play when we arrived.  My parents were awake and little Amelia was the most unsure of the 'strangers' (my parents) in a strange house.  She quickly warmed up to my mom who was playing with her and my dad shortly after.  After chatting/playing for about an hour, we decided to get some rest and put the kids upstairs to get a little more sleep too.  Luckily they adapted to the pack n plays well and we all slept until about noon.  I'm not really remembering what else we did the rest of the day but I think Tony and I drove into town during their nap and got something to eat and visited the local grocery store for a few items.  Mid trip my mom called and let me know that they didn't nap for very long and they were already up and visiting with their cousins from Ohio.

I had originally planned to go to the 'bar night' part of my reunion, but ended up not going because I thought most people would have been gone by the time we'd get the kids in bed and we were tired and had a long day the next day!  This would be a decision that I currently regret.  I missed out on seeing quite a few people that didn't go the next night.

My sister had made an appointment at JCPenney portait studio as she wanted to get the whole family together for some family pictures.  We loaded up our crew and headed to the mall.  They did as well as could be expected for having to sit  for as long at they needed to with people they didn't know that well.

We obviously went with the whole pink/blue thing - except for my one sister - even though it was her idea to wear pink and blue.  The latter part of the day was a birthday celebration, but it was tough making everyone happy.  My one sister is in the middle of a diet/crazy work out regime and preparing for a 'fitness competition' where she actually is having a custom bikini made.  My other sister and her family are vegan and she's training for an Ironman triathalon.  So coming up with something everyone will eat is... impossible.  I have to admit, I get annoyed by it, even though it shouldn't bother me.  Apparently I didn't get the workout gene - or the passion one that makes someone stick to and throw themselves so into something like they do.  Oh well! 

My dad had asked their neighbor Ruth to make a cake - I recall that she used to do some pretty elaborate cakes back in the day.  It was a simple cake and very nice of her to make it and it was tasty.  I brought my camera, but it seems I didn't take a whole lot of pictures.  That's typically what happens but my sister took some that I can share.

Later that night, T and I got ready to go out to my reunion.  We arrived and I immediately noticed that there not very many tables set up - meaning that there wasn't going to be a very big crowd.  As expected, not too many people were there and alot more went to the bar night but it was a fun night.  I got to see a bunch of people that I hadn't seen in years and caught up with one of my best friends that I'd lost track of.  She's not on facebook!  She filled me in on our other best friend during high school.  It sort of made me feel bad that I hadn't stayed in touch but realized that we'd all grown apart because we changed and change isn't all that bad.  At time time, we bonded again over our children - she has 4 kids now and her youngest is just a bit older than mine.  Tony ended up talking to her husband who is a lawyer and another old classmate who works in the culinary business.

The original reunion plan was to also have a family picnic, but that part got cancelled sadly.  I was looking forward to seeing everyone's families.

The rest of the weekend was a blur, but I know my parents had a great visit with my kids and got to see how much they've grown since they saw them last.  A few other pictures of the weekend...
Savannah gets a "Triple HUG"

Our trip home was an eventful trip.  The longest nap taken was by Amelia for about 45 minutes and we never had everyone napping at the same time.  Once Olivia fell asleep, little Tony decided it was a great time to start kicking her legs and pinching her arms which woke her up of course.  They all annoyed each other for what felt like hours and what normally takes 8 hours to drive - took almost 12!  We were exhausted and even had little Tony throw up whilst navigating the many hills and curves through the Pocono mountains in central PA.  I was really glad to have that trip overwith, but again overall, it was a successful trip home and we had a nice time.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Saving for a rainy day!

Last year for their birthday, the kids got these little banks from their cousins Peter & Molly.  They went to one of those places where you paint your own pottery and they fire it for you.  Tony's is the race car, Amelia's is the pig and Olivia's is the owl.  Within the past few weeks they are really interested in the banks.  It started with just wanting to play with them (specifically the car) and now they're all hooked on dropping coins inside.  T & I have started saving our extra change in quantities of three so they each end up with the same amount.  They want to open up the bottom and dump all the change all over the place, but we usually catch it before that happens.  I know they don't have a concept of money and that it's good to save, but hopefully this is the start to good saving habits!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To change or not to change. .. that is the question.

As part of my normal bedtime routine,  I go into my kids room to check on them.  I check to see if they are cold or tangled with anything,  etc.  Tonight I noticed that undeniable smell that someone had pooped.     This brings up the question of do you try and tell who the culprit is and change them and risk waking one or more up?  Or do you let it go until morning?

I chose to locate the source of the smell and change the dirty dipe!  It was little T although he did wake up a little but he mostly just laughed and rolled back over when I was done.   What a good boy!