Monday, October 26, 2009



Have you ever made the statement "it won't happen to us"? Well so have I. I was wrong. Dead wrong. Over the past two weeks I have been sick. Very sick. The kind of sick that renders a person unable to talk, walk, stand or take care of my own kids sick. It was the worst I have ever felt. It started out as what I thought was a sinus infection. Stuffy head, congestion and all the classic signs of a fall cold. Than it took a dangerous turn. About a week into my illness I realized I wasn't getting better. In fact I was getting worse. My muscles where fatigued, my extremities swollen, my chest congested and a raging fever. I was unable to stand for more than a few seconds and the coughing was...unbearable. The doctor sent me in for tests thinking it was a respiratory infection that manifested into pneumonia. Nope, no such luck. in the mean time the children, who have been on antibiotics for ear infections, began falling ill. First Emerson. His fever, like mine rose above 104. He was lethargic and groggy. Several times I had to put him in a cool bath to lower his body temperature. We where both just so sick.

I came to the realization that we had contracted the flu while at the hospital. You see Emerson was playing in my room a few days prior to getting sick. He was on my bed while I was putting away laundry. He started throwing pillows off my bed, which only meant one thing. He was going to jump on them. This is standard practice in my house. They all do it. After throwing most of the pillows off my bed he jumped, and missed! He landed on his ankle and immediately began screaming. I thought for sure he broke it. Within a few hours I took him to the ER. They where wonderful. They saw to him rather quickly and we where out of their with a diagnosis of a sprained ankle. Although I was sick at the time. I had no idea what was in store for my little family.

Within a few days we would come to realize, we had the flu....THE SWINE FLU! We all tested positive! Not us! Not my little family!

Within days of this visit we all started falling ill. First me, than Emerson, Max and Alex followed quickly as did Austin, Griffin and David. The pain was horrible. Muscle aches like I have never had and lets face it, my pain tolerance is HUGE! I did carry 3 human beings inside of me after all! I knew the flu was terrible but I never imagined it being this terrible. The doctors started my family on Tamiflu. This is really the only flu treatment out there. Within a few days my family was feeling better. Thank God. I on the other hand am still under the weather. I was unable to take the Tamiflu because it was not discovered I had the flu right away. Now here we are over a week since our flu symptoms started and we are on the mend. The fevers have all broke and the body aches have started to subside. There is still evidence of sickness through the debilitating coughing and congestion but we seem to be healing slowly and surely!

I know we contracted it while in the hospital. Our immune systems where compromised due to sinus and ear infections. It's a scary thought since we have read the papers and seen the news like everyone else. It's a horrible flu. The worst in history and we survived. We owe it all to our wonderful doctors and the good Lord above that saw to it that we survived. Thanks to all our friends and family who where concerned and who prayed for us. We will be back to our normal crazy Stinner Family antics in no time! Remember, don't say it can't happen to you. It can, and it might. Take all the precautions you can. YOU DO NOT WANT THIS FLU! We where lucky. None of us where hospitalized, none of us died. That doesn't mean you can't get it worse than we did. Stay safe everyone and be proactive!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Look what I grew!
Carving pumpkins!
Almost done.
Up to no good!
Happy Stinner Pumpkins!

Everyone knows that this year was the first year I planted a garden. I did this to prove to myself that I could. Unfortunately it was such a wet gloomy season that we lost a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers. We had a great season for green peppers, yellow squash, zucchini and of course pumpkins. This was exciting to me. I always wanted my own pumpkin patch and trust me that's just what happened. What I didn't know is that pumpkins take over EVERYTHING! They grab a hold of all your other vegetables and lay on top of them or strangle them to death. Needless to say by mid September the Pumpkins had morphed my garden into a pumpkin patch.
The kids had a blast scooping all the "guts" out of the pumpkins. Alex kept saying "swimey". Max tried to taste it and Emerson just wanted it off his hands. Austin however, was superman. He reached right in and scooped out pumpkin guts like that was the best job in the world. We carved our pumpkins with happy faces, since they where happy to give their pumpkin lives for our enjoyment. After some intense cleaning we roasted the seeds and tried them. The triplets didn't get it and Austin pretended to like them but they just weren't big enough to really enjoy. Oh well, maybe next year. We'll have to grow one of those 2000lb bad boys that win all the awards every year! HAHA, wishful thinking!
Now it's time for Halloween. We have this discussion with people every year. We approach Halloween differently than other people. We don't "celebrate" it as a holiday but rather embrace it as a day of fun and games for our kids. We allow them to dress up in fun, non-demonic costumes. Last year they where all animals and Austin a character from Star Wars. We are not real big on trick or treating, so we travel to friends and families houses for treats. We know we can not completely shelter our children from the evils of the world. So we choose to teach them right from wrong and turn something that might be harmful into something fun and innocent. I know not everyone will agree with me. Most Christians choose to ignore Halloween like it doesn't happen. But I choose to let my children enjoy the day and ignore the gore!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our 1st Vacation!

The Great Wolfe Lodge
The Lobby. Animiatronics. So cool! The waterpark.
Alex on our balcony.
Austin on the balcony.
Maxim on the balcony.
Emerson is a big man in Daddy's shoes.
Max & Alex on the walkway above the pool.
Ut oh...dumping water!
My little Jedi's having a light saber war in the room.
Griffin made himself at home!
So did Austin!

Our 1st Vacation!

OK, it's not OUR 1st vacation but it is our 1st vacation with 5 children in tow! Anyone with several kids can tell you it is INSANE to travel with small children let alone 5 under 6 years old. It requires an immense amount of prep work, and when you get to your final destination you realize all the things you forgot. I was fortunate to not forget much. However, it's always the truly vital things that you seem to leave behind. In this case, the bottle washer. Yeah, yeah...doesn't seem like a big deal, right? Well, you travel with 4 bottle dependant kids(the triplets only need one for nap time and one for bed)and only 6 bottles. Do the math! It's tough to wash these fancy schmancy Dr. Brown's bottles with no brush. Being the MacGyver mom that I am, I bought an extra tooth brush in the gift shop and fashioned a bottle brush! Oh yeah, who's cool and genius now?

So anyway after a week of preparation we where off. We packed our van so full I was afraid the children weren't going to fit. Well, we all fit. Barely! There where bags in every nook and cranny. Off we where to The Great Wolfe Lodge in Niagara Falls, Canada. Seeing that we live less than 30 minutes(not including the wait time in customs) I figured we would be there in less than an hour. It ended up taking us a little longer than that since my hubby pulled a "I know right where it is, I don't need no stinking directions!" on me. HAHA, OK enough harping on David. We only got a little lost. After a quick stop for some more accurate directions we made it there after an hour and a half.

It was a little overwhelming at first. Everything is huge and there are people everywhere. The kids where relieved to be in our suite at last. They immediately began running from end to end checking out all the cool stuff. Their little area had bunk beds. Every wall was painted to look like the inside of a log cabin. There was raccoons and bears painted everywhere and of course wolves. They spotted the fireplace and banged on that. They climbed up on the tables and banged on the walls. They explored the bathroom and than discovered the safe. Let's just say it had buttons and made a cool beeping sound. I doubt if anyone will every be able to get it open again. The boys made that priority one!

We headed to the water park shortly after arriving. They where a little overwhelmed, OK a lot. There are tons of people. There are pools and tubes and water slides and geysers everywhere. The water is shooting out from all angles, the walkways overhead had cannons and hoses and a huge bucket that dropped hundreds of gallons of water on those below. Not to mention that the noise is just deafening. Alex loved it. He put those floaties on and off him and Austin went. They where looking all around and splashing up a storm. Max was OK, but a little apprehensive and Emerson wanted no part of the water at all. He just clung to my chest and wouldn't let go. I know my poor little man was just freaked out by the whole thing. Griffin on the other hand was a fish. He tried several times to dive out of mine and David's arms to get in. He would splash and laugh.

After an hour or so we headed to the room and got ready for dinner. This is a huge undertaking with 5 kids. Swimmy diapers off, clean diapers and clothes on. Mommy get dressed, daddy get dressed, Austin get dressed. Get sippy cups ready, get diaper bag packed. Everyone back in the strollers and head to the elevators. Now breathe! Briefly.

Can you imagine the look on the waitresses face when we said "A table for 7 please, with 4 high chairs." It's the same look we get everywhere we go, utter confusion. The boys don't eat out much but they seem to like the immediacy of buffets. David arranges everyone while I get food. By the time they sit, VIOLA, food is served. They are not used to having to sit stationary and eat. They do a free range thing in my house because they escape anyways. So after some minor melt downs they settled and ate. This was pretty much the same routine for every meal.

We got a ton of comments. Mostly, are they triplets? I got a "Are those quaDROOPlets?"(misspelled just like she said it). I answered everyone kindly and got a lot of "God Bless You". I even met a man in the elevator who also had triplets age 4 and a 5 year old. I was happy to be able to relate to someone even if it was only a 45 second elevator ride. We smiled sweetly when exiting feeling each others angst. Mostly people just stared and quietly counted to themselves. It's almost like "do my eyes deceive me? I must count!" HAHAHA! Yes there are 5 kids...all boys!

The second day we went to the water park several times. Emerson decided he wasn't afraid and that he too was a water baby. By the end of the day we almost had to fight them to get them out of the pools. They loved it! All 5 kids just splashing away, smiling, laughing and enjoying every moment. They loved running up and down the long walkways up above the park. They spilled water on people heads and took getting hit with water cannons with a grain of salt. We even got the huge bucket of water dumped on our heads several times and they just laughed and ran except for Griffin who smiled and splashed in a big puddle of water!

The 1st nights sleep was a little stressful. Alex was awake most of the night. I'm not sure if it was because of the new surroundings, the excitement of the day or the fact that he kept falling out of bed! OK, so they are definitely not ready for beds yet! It seemed every 5 minutes I was picking someone up off the floor. The next night I got smart! I pulled the mattress off the pull out couch, put it on the floor and surrounded it with pillows. We even pulled the mattress off one of the bunk beds to block off the stone fireplace. It was a make shift floor crib. Anyway, it worked out great and the boys, David and I got a good nights rest.

The last day was uneventful. After a hearty breakfast, of which most of it ended up on the floor if the restaurant, we packed and headed to the water park. The kids splashed and played for a couple of hours. Austin even made a friend that he was swimming and playing around with. The boys swam until they just about passed out. We changed everyone fast and by the time we headed out of the park area 3 of 5 where snoring! We grabbed some lunch to go and headed home just this afternoon.

I am pleased to say we made it over the bridge and home in less than an hour. Good thing since the kids where all exhausted and I seem to have contracted a terrible head cold. All in all it was a wonderful three days. My boys where amazingly well behaved and we proved to ourselves that we can still go out and have fun with 5 kids. Now for some much needed relaxation, and who knows maybe we'll tackle Disney next time....MAYBE!

Sunday, October 4, 2009


almost there...
I love this picture of Emerson. He was reading his book so seriously with this hat on!
Morning activities.
" Don't go to school Austin, stay and play!"


OK, so we all know I am enamoured with my children. I turn into this oooey gooey mess when my children do something cute. I can't help it. Case in point...Alex has been talking up a storm. In fact, this kid has been talking up a storm since he was 3 months old. He's always had words to say and stories to tell. Now it's more his articulation that has me dumb founded. Most recently he looked at me and said "oh man, ut oh. Em di it on da for ge it agin". Did you understand that? No? Well, I have PH.D in Alexology so here we go..."Oh man, Emerson threw the markers on the floor again, pick them up". At dinner last night when asked if he would like a cookie for dessert Alex said "yeah" but than quickly followed it up with "Yes, cookie peeeeese". I guess he even listens to me when I correct him. How smart is he? He is the comedian of the group as well always making silly voices and faces. Emerson AKA "the pole vaulter" is still up to his amazing feats of daringness. He can fashion a ladder out of almost anything to reach the heights he wants. If he wants to get on the table in the living room, up he goes. I find pillows, bowls and the occasional diaper stack all piled high. But let me tell you, this kid really needs nothing more than his "monkey feet". He curls his toes around any bar or handle he can find and scoots right up. Maxim is quick. I turn around and think he's one place and he's another. I think I may call him "dash". I pull him down off the window sill(he perches up there and watches) and by the time I go to walk away, he's back. I find him hiding all over, like behind couches and in closets. When I turn around....zoom, he's gone again. That is unless our Deb is here. Than he can be found on her lap. He scared me to death last week. While I was vacuuming he somehow managed to scoot by me. After realizing he wasn't where he was supposed to be I frantically ran through the house(quite difficult due to my recent surgeries) looking in every corner and crevice. I ran to the basement and nothing. Panicking I stopped for 1 second to regain composure. Knowing he didn't get outside but fearing the worst I attempted to open the patio door, when I heard foot steps above my head. I ran into the attic(which is redone)to find him playing with toys in the attic living room. Man, what this kid gets into in less than 1 minute is unbelievable. All I have to say is Thank God I was blessed with patience.

Austin and I went to his schools Fun Fair this Saturday. It's nice to have some alone time with him. On our walk over we talked about school and new friends. He explained the rules of his new classroom and boasted about his new teacher. He's growing up so fast now. Almost over night he went from this annoying little kid to this intelligent, question asking machine. His curiosity is just unbelievable. He wants to know how the world works. I love that. He was thrill;ed to hang out at school with his best buddy Zack while I worked the prize table. School is important to Austin. He loves it. I hope it continues to be like that. I'm sure it will.

Now on to my SUPER BABY!!!!!!!! Griffin is the most unbelievable kid. It's like he's in fast forward! He now is free standing. this means he is just going from the sit position to the stand position without holding on to anything. He stands and plays with a toy, stands and watches tv, stands and plays with his brothers. He is 9 months old today! I know he will be walking in the next month. This is without a doubt. He has absolutely no fear of anything. He can crawl as fast as his big brothers run and he gets in the middle of playtime and fights. Could this kid be a greater joy in our lives? Nope!

Lately we have been really getting involved in our new church. It's wonderful to have a church family that cares and supports you. To be so involved with the direction a church is headed and to have such an intense spiritual connection to others is just such an amazing blessing. We our so happy our prayers have been answered. Positive spirituality gives you such an overwhelming sense of love. Rather than the negativity some people take from Christianity. I am very proud to be a part of such an amazing church family and to have our children be involved as well. God is good!