October 29, 2009

Skin MD Natural: Review and Giveaway

I am constantly washing my hands. When my daughters were born I became a hand sanitizer fan, which helped keep my hands from becoming too dry. Still, there are many times when only soap and water will work. For example, when I'm cleaning up after the girls use the bathroom. Also when I'm at my part-time retail job I handle a lot money. The only thing that's going to get my hands clean is soap and water. Now that winter is approaching I'm doomed to have dry, chapped hands. Or am I?
Recently 21st Century Formulations asked me to try Skin MD Natural. Unlike typical moisturizers, this is a shielding lotion. Basically as Skin MD Natural is absorbed into your skin, it turns the top layer into a hydrating, invisible shield. The goal is to coax your skin to moisturize itself.
When my complimentary bottle arrived I was a tad skeptical. A four-ounce bottle is a "full size bottle?" Believe it or not, a little bit goes a long way. When used correctly, this bottle should last 1-2 months. Considering how fast I go through some of my other lotions, I would say this is a steal.
I've used just a small amount for the last three days and I'm already noticing a difference. My hands don't feel dry. I had some dry patches on my knuckles when I started using the product. They immediately cleared up. When I wash my hands I notice a difference. Skin MD Natural doesn't slide off my skin they way some traditional lotions do. My hands still feel soft after a washing. Testimonials credit this product for helping with eczema, psoriasis and other skin ailments. According to 21st Century Formulations, some parents are using the lotion as a true "shield" for their child's hands to protect them from the various chemicals and irritants our hands encounter on a regular basis. But it's not just for hands. Skin MD Natural can also be used on your face or body.
Some added bonuses: There is also a Skin MD Natural with sunscreen. Plus, the products are not tested on animals and are dermatology tested, hypoallergenic, fragrance free and colorant free.
Here's the fun part. One lucky Buried in Laundry reader will win a bottle of Skin MD Natural. For your chance to win, simply leave a comment telling me your dry skin woes. You MUST include a valid email address in any comments you leave.
For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry or let me know if you already follow
  • Blog about this contest and include a link back to this post and a link to Skin MD Natural
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. You have until 6 p.m. MST Wednesday Nov. 4, 2009 to enter. (That's my birthday and I think it would be fun to give something away on my birthday). The winner will be chosen by Random.org and will have 72 hours to claim the prize before a new winner is drawn.

October 28, 2009

Snow Day

Until this morning I was truly convinced that our school district never closes school due to inclement weather. School was not canceled last year when I watched two cars spin out in front of me on a particularly icy morning. School was not canceled last year when it was -12. I'm not joking about the temperature. By the time I picked my daughters up it had "warmed up" to a whopping -2.
Last night all the TV forecasters cautioned that a snowstorm was coming. When I woke up this morning there was some snow on the ground, but nothing we haven't seen before.

I almost didn't check the TV before rousing my daughters. Then I realized if I didn't check for a cancellation, school would be closed and we would have missed an opportunity for a lazy morning. Sure enough, no school. I managed to keep everyone in bed for another hour.
As a child, I hated snow days. I loved school. As a teenager I loved snow days and the chance to stay in bed as long as I wanted. My daughters were so disappointed to find out they're not going to school today... especially since today I was supposed to volunteer in their classroom. We spent all day yesterday talking about how much fun it would be to have mommy at school. Another day I guess.
To make up for their disappointment we'll be baking cookies this afternoon. The way it looks outside, I feel as though we should be making Christmas cookies instead of Halloween-themed cookies!

October 27, 2009

Can TV Make Your Child Smarter?

I have previously confessed that I (gasp) let my children watch television. I never set out to not allow TV in our house, but I do try to limit how much time they spend in front of the TV. Still, we have those days when the TV is on for prolonged periods of time. This afternoon will be one of those days. Yesterday all four girls needed five vaccinations apiece at their well child check up. After preschool today I am going to let them crash on the couch for the rest of the day.
Interestingly enough, there's a big buzz la
tely about Baby Einstein DVDs. Basically, in 2006 a consumer group asked the FTC to investigate whether the makers of the DVDs practiced deceptive advertising by marketing the DVDs as educational for children under the age of two. Recently, the company announced that anyone who purchased a Baby Einstein DVD between June 5, 2004 and September 4, 2009 can send the disc back for various exchanges, including a $15.99 refund. (Click here for full details). For the record, the General Manager of Baby Einstein says this is all simply an extension of a satisfaction program already in place.
Did I buy some of the DVDs in question? Sure. I think a lot of parents jumped on the Baby Einstein bandwagon. DVDs to make my children smarter? I'm all over that. But I have a hard time actually saying I bought the DVDs because I thought they would turn my children in to geniuses. My daughters enjoyed the music and the hand puppets. Do I think they learned something from the DVDs? Yes, to an extent. In truth, the DVDs simply reinforced things Hubby and I had already been teaching our daughters (animals, colors, etc).
I will never say TV is "evil." It has benefits. Of course, I can say that because we don't have cable so our TV viewing is relegated to PBS and DVDs of my choosing. I grew up on Sesame Street and appreciate the fact that my daughters enjoy the show, too. They count with Count and sing with Elmo, but even then I don't rely on PBS to tell me what my children should watch. There is an episode of Arthur which centers on one of the characters learning a swear word. Sure, the word is bleeped out, but the whole concept of that episode bothers me. I turn the show off every time that episode airs.
I have no problem with parents who do not allow their children to watch TV ever. We're all entitled to our own parenting styles. I just don't know if blaming a company because our children aren't geniuses is the right route to take.

October 26, 2009

Oh What a Tangled Web

I am not ashamed to admit that I am afraid of spiders. I can't stand them. Little bitty spiders are OK, but anything bigger than a penny terrifies me. When we lived in northern Michigan I nearly had panic attacks at the size of spiders I saw there. Their bodies alone were the size of a small child's fist. I'm creeping myself out just thinking about them.
I have tried very hard to keep this fear from my daughters. When I see a large spider I hold in my urge to scream. I've actually managed to take care of a few spiders that had the misfortune of coming into my home. If the spider is too big for my liking then I simply tell my daughters we'll wait for Hubby to come home and take care of it.
Unfortunately over the weekend I lost all sense of control. While I was at work Hubby and the girls went to a get-together at our neighbor's house. They had a grand time playing with all the Halloween decorations, including tarantula-sized plastic spiders. When I came home from work I saw one of the spiders. No big deal... it's just pretend. Then Cakes wanted to show me the spider. She brought it to me and I screamed. I couldn't help it. Even though I knew it was fake, something deep inside me just couldn't accept the fact that it wasn't real. Poor Cakes. I really hurt her feelings. She was so sad that I wasn't amused by the spider. Tortilla kept saying "it's just pretend, mommy." Hubby didn't help matters by laughing at me the entire time.
Hubby and I managed to divert their attention with a different Halloween toy... and I made Hubby collect the fake spiders and return them to the neighbor. I'm dreading what is going to happen the next time my daughters see a real spider. I should probably be prepared for lots of screaming. From me? From them? Your guess is as good as mine.

October 22, 2009

Private Parts

I knew eventually this day would come. Still, I was not prepared for the conversation I had yesterday with one of my daughters.
Cakes: Julius pees out of his belly button.
Me (distracted): No, honey, no one pees out of their belly button.
Cakes: Yes, Julius does.
Me (starting to pay attention): No, no he doesn't.
Cakes (indignant): Yes, he does. Like this...
At this point I turn to look at her. My eyes slowly widen and, based on her pantomimes, I realized why she thinks a little boy at preschool pees out of his belly button. (Try simulating the act of a male urinating. Her hands were somewhere around the button of her pants and her belly button). Here's what raced through my head:
Don't panic. Don't panic. She's four. You can do this. Oh crap I'm hyperventilating. Breathe...
I have always been pretty straightforward with my daughters when it comes to body parts. I never set out to be that way, but it's a lot easier to use proper terms than to try to remember what slang was used in previous conversations. So I took a deep breath and calmly explained that boys and girls have different private parts. After learning that Julius does not pee out of his belly button she seemed a lot less interested in the conversation.
Upon hearing about this conversation, Hubby's first question was "why would she know how Julius goes to the bathroom?" Well, I've come up with two probable explanations. In our house when one girl needs to go the bathroom, the other three suddenly need to use the facilities, too. I can only imagine what happens in a class of 16. At some point someone is going to open the door while another student is using the bathroom. My other thought is that during play time Julius may have simulated going to the bathroom (maybe they were playing house, who knows?) and it appeared that he had his hands near his belly button. All I know is that I made it through the conversation/explanation without passing out... and surely that has to count for something. Unfortunately, only Cakes was part of this conversation, so apparently I'm going to have to repeat it three more times.

October 21, 2009

The Winner Is...

The Winner of the Name Your Tune CD giveaway is...
#2 MaryAnne
Congratulations, MaryAnne!
Thank you for all who entered. Don't forget, Name Your Tune is offering Buried in Laundry readers $5 off a personalized CD order. Simply use coupon code BIL at checkout.

Back in the Summer of '91

Over the weekend I was looking for a picture. What I stumbled upon was unexpected and brought back so many memories. I found an album full of pictures from Chief Logan Reservation. In the summer of 1991, my friend Sarah and I took jobs as the kitchen staff ("Dining Hall Assistants," if you please) at a Boy Scout Camp. Did I mention we were just 16 and it was an overnight camp? Full of Boy Scouts? It was one of the best summers of my teenage years... and not for the reasons you may think.
I still remember the drives to and from camp. We went home every other weekend... or maybe it was every weekend. We would throw our bags into my parents 1974-ish Ford LTD, pop in the Grateful Dead and be on our way. Every time I hear "Uncle John's Band" I think about cruising along a sparsely populated highway in the heart of southern Ohio.
If you're waiting for stories full of teen sex, underage drinking and other escapades, I'm sorry to disappoint you. Yes, we were the only teen girls in the camp (there were a few other females but they were all "of age"), but things were a lot more innocent than you would expect. For one whole summer I had a chance to learn some valuable lessons.
For the first few days I made sure I was up early, showered, hair in place, maybe even a little makeup. A few days of getting up way too early convinced me that you couldn't pay me to be up before Keith A. Hall started his morning wake up announcement. He would play a cassette recording of Reveille and Sarah and I would throw on our clothes, slap our hair into ponytails and dash from our platform tent across a field to the Dining Hall to help prepare breakfast for starving teen boys.
Yes, I said platform tent. I may come across as pretty high maintenance these days, but I like to think that summer I proved I can "rough it." Our tent sat next to the Ad Building, essentially on a main path that every Boy Scout and their leaders had to trek along each day.
The area was roped off and I can't even imagine what would have happened to any male foolish enough to cross those barriers. Back then I thought our tent was put there because a) the Ad Building was the place where Sarah and I showered and b) it kept us as as far away as reasonably possible from the Boy Scouts' tents. I now think it was placed there to keep us in plain view of pretty much everyone so they could keep an eye on us. (Years later Sarah and I heard stories about how some of the staff apparently sat on the Ad Building porch at night hoping to see our shadows as we changed for the night. Thanks a lot for cluing us in, guys!)
But, I digress. So, we lived in a platform tent for the summer. It was hot. It was cramped. Daddy Long Legs crawled all over the place. For a few days I screeched at the sight of a Daddy Long Leg, begging the male staff to come get rid of them. Then I realized what a waste of time it was to go get a boy to remove the spiders when I could easily do it myself. To this day I am deathly afraid of all spiders, but show me a Daddy Long Leg and I could care less. That tent may have been primitive, but it was home. When the camp celebrated Christmas in July, Sarah and I decorated the outside of our tent with wreaths and other festive items.
I think of that summer as the summer I perfected the art of flirting. I have never been the girl who has boys drooling all over her, but that summer Sarah and I could have had our pick of pretty much any boy we wanted to date. I'm not being arrogant. Let's face it... throw two 16-year-olds at a bunch of hormonal teenage boys and a few of them are going to want to date you. But I was too innocent, too young and really way too ditzy to have had any type of meaningful relationship. Correction for you CLR Alumni reading this post: I was not ditzy, just really bubbly (thought you'd like that!)
I learned some interesting lessons that summer.
  • I can be friends with boys. Period. I laughed with them. I cried and witnessed some of them cry at certain events (the end of sessions, the end of camp). The ones I grew truly close to treated me like an equal and could have cared less that I was a (gasp) girl! Though I've lost touch with some of the staff members who I was closest to that summer, we've slowly started reconnecting. Thank goodness for Facebook.
  • Ralph Harvey is the coolest Hairy Chested Man I know (weren't you officially called Mountain Men?) He landed us those jobs and never once rolled his eyes at our ditziness/bubbliness... at least not to our faces. I've known Ralph since elementary school, but never realized until that summer just how cool he was. Little boys at camp wanted to be him. With his long hair, enthusiasm for Scouting and kind soul, who could blame them?
  • Andy McGinn looks awesome as a woman. As part of the weekly "Ugly Man" contest, Andy agreed to let us put make up on him if he won. He looked fantastic, if I do say so myself.
  • Scouting is more than camping and building fires. That summer I had a chance to witness various rituals and ceremonies, such as The Order of the Arrow induction. Later, a scout invited us to his Eagle Scout Ceremony. (Thanks, Mike. It was an honor to be there!) Sadly, I still haven't figured out what happens when the Mountain Men go up in the mountains for the night... but I know they delighted in returning the next morning and yelling around the flagpole. (I still think they were louder than ever that summer just to interrupt my last precious minutes of sleep).
  • Dreama's ice cream pie should not be eaten on a daily basis... unless you want to return home 10 pounds heavier at the end of the summer. Trust me on this one.
  • Being outdoors is awesome. No, I'm not a diehard camper, but I wish I were. I can't tell you how peaceful it is to find a quiet spot surrounded by pine trees and do nothing but think. I still can't wait until Hubby and I have the time (and energy) to take our daughters camping.
  • They Might Be Giants is by far one of the most underrated bands ever. Particle Man drew me in and Istanbul (Not Constantinople) helped me out in World History.
  • I can Swamp Stomp with the best of them. What's a Swamp Stomp? Exactly what it sounds like. You stomp through a swamp up to your eyeballs. I was covered in disgusting filth. It was fun to purposely become dirtier than you've ever imagined.
  • No matter how progressive an organization may seem, there will always be those who will discriminate against you. I actually had scout leaders, grown men, approach me and tell me that I should "stay in the kitchen" and not be allowed any where else on camp grounds. Classy. Of course, there were other grown men who could only look at my chest when they spoke to me. Creepy. But there will always be more members of said organization who readily accept you and embrace your presence.
Unfortunately, that summer had some ugly moments, too. A Scout Leader had a heart attack and died. I still remember the look of terror on Justin K.'s face as he came tearing into the back room of the Dining Hall to call 911. I remember how Maaike, who performed CPR on him, was a shaken for the rest of the day. Also that summer a staff member went on a "Power" trip and was fired. I don't remember all the details and it happened while the rest of the staff was enjoying a weekend off... but I do remember it made for some great stories and speculation.
Ugliness aside, it was a magical summer. So many memories... so little space write them all down. The following year, Sarah and I took jobs at a 4-H camp. After that we worked at a YMCA camp. For me, none of those summers matched the energy, fun and friendship of Chief Logan.
The other day in an email Sarah asked me what our parents were thinking by letting us spend the summer surrounded by teenage boys and, essentially, no chaperones. I have no idea. I like to think they trusted us to make good decisions. I can't imagine they ever truly appreciated the lessons we learned that summer. Sarah asked me if I could imagine ever letting my daughters work at a Boy Scout camp. My initial reaction?? Hell no! I would never let my little girls do that. But as I wrap up this post, I'm starting to wonder: why not? If they were surrounded by the boys and young men I encountered in the summer of 1991 then I know they would have the time of their lives and learn some valuable life lessons along the way.
In closing, I'll leave you with the most important lesson I learned that summer: A lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

The Deadline is Approaching

Reminder: The deadline to enter the Name Your Tune CD giveaway is tonight at 6pm MST.

October 20, 2009

That's Mine Pt. 2

My sister and I are eight years apart. This means she received a lot of my hand me downs. At first it was fun seeing baby Jenna use the same coveted blankie I used as a little girl. Then she chewed it to pieces and I was a little miffed. That used to be my blankie. You think she could take better care of it. One Christmas I remember helping my mom clean up some of my old dolls that had been packed away. The brunette was "Molly." I can't remember what I called the blonde one. I was delighted that my sister would be playing with them... until she renamed them "Packie" (we think she was trying to say Cabbage Patch Kid) and "Palmer." Ummm, yeah, that's not their names. I soon decided to go through my boxes of old toys and set aside the things I just couldn't part with. I still have that box and have slowly started letting my daughters play with those toys.
My girls are never going to be in a position to give one another hand me downs, but they certainly have to learn the art of sharing. It has been a really difficult concept to explain in recent months. They are comprehending "mine" and "yours." There are certain things I never make them share: blankies, a special toy... But when it comes to birthdays and Christmas I'm starting to find myself in a real pinch.
Take their recent birthday, for example. When my dad and stepmom were visiting we had an early celebration. Grandma presented each girl with a big pink storage container full of clothes and other goodies. Since each of my daughters received a container, they logically presumed whatever was in that container was hers and hers alone. I have spent countless mornings consoling sobbing girls who can't understand why someone else is wearing "her" shirt. In the basket Cakes dug into, there was a pair of Disney Princess shoes. She insists they are her shoes... although she is starting to warm up to the idea of occaisionally sharing the shoes with her sisters.
Last Christmas Kohl's had a line of Curious George books and toys. I was so excited that there were four different stuffed animals. Now I'm constantly trying to remember who "picked" which animal Christmas morning so I can avoid arguments.
Hubby came up with an interesting solution. Before Christmas he wants to take each of the girls to a toy store and let them roam the aisles with us one on one. This will give us an idea of who enjoys what toy... and come Christmas morning could give each of them a real sense of "ownership."
All in all my daughters are very good about sharing. Just last week I took Sue Sue to a physical therapy appointment. When I picked up Roo, Cakes and Tortilla from our drop-in day care they came out with a snack. As soon as Roo saw Sue Sue did not have a snack she generously handed over some apple slices... without me asking! They're catching on to what it means to share... but some days they really just need to know something belongs solely to them.
(Don't forget, the deadline to enter the Name Your Tune CD giveaway is approaching!)

October 19, 2009

The Things We Can Learn From Preschool

I'm beginning to think some adults need to take a few days and visit their local preschool. I'm flabbergasted by some of the lack etiquette I've seen lately. If my four-year-olds can grasp these simple rules, why can't some adults?
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. I was coughed on twice last week at work by two different people. Regardless of whether you think H1N1 is all "hype" and not a threat, honestly, I don't want your germs! On a related note, I finally have convinced my daughters to cough or sneeze into their elbows rather than their hands. They thought I was teasing them when I first showed them how to do that.
  • Wash your hands. My daughters know they wash their hands when they come home from preschool, before they eat, after they use the bathroom and after they've been outside. When I try to use hand sanitizer they seem a little miffed that we're not using soap and water.
  • No cutting in line. Don't you hate it when you're at the grocery store and the person at the back of the line runs for the checker who's opening a new lane?
  • If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. My daughters know there are certain things you should say to someone. This includes "nyah nyah nyah nyah" or sticking your tongue out. I've been "reprimanded" by them for jokingly blowing raspberries at Hubby.
Don't forget, you still have time to enter the Name Your Tune CD giveaway.

October 15, 2009

Name Your Tune CD: Review and Giveaway

I have a name that very few people know how to spell, let alone pronounce. Kristin. Growing up, personalized "license plates" for bicycles were all the rage. It took forever to find one that wasn't "Kristen." Interestingly enough, the majority of Kristins I know are "-ins," not "-ens." Still, companies insist on selling few "-in" personalized products. To this day my dad will buy personalized items for me if he finds the proper spelling.
I didn't intentionally give my daughters unique spellings for their names, but I can rarely find personalized products for all four of them. Imagine how thrilled I was to try out a personalized CD from Name Your Tune. I'll admit, at first I was a bit reluctant to accept the complimentary copy the company offered me. How could I pick just one of my daughters to have featured throughout a 14-song CD? Not a problem. Name Your Tune can personalize the CD for more than one child... including quadruplets.
The concept of Name Your Tune is pretty cool. The CD features 13 popular children's songs, plus an instrumental lullaby. Instead of "Old McDonald Had a Farm," our version is "Little Roo Had a Farm."
I popped the disc into the CD player in our Suburban so we could listen to it without distractions. During the first song, Cakes burst out in giggles. "Mommy, they just said Tortilla's name!" By the second song, when they heard someone singing to Sue-Sue, they realized there was something special happening. Not a word was spoken as all four girls listened to figure out who would be the subject of the next song. Roo! Cakes started to look disappointed. "Do you think they'll sing about me?" she asked. She giggled and smiled all through "her" song.
All in all, each girl has three songs of her own. Well, Tortilla has four, but let's not tell the others. Plus the disc itself has all four of their names written on it. It truly is a fun experience listening to the songs. Unlike some children's CDs, these songs are sung by adults, rather than adults singing in babytalk.
I only could find one "flaw," if you will. The CD is not gender specific, so on "Little Roo Had a Farm" rather than singing "On that farm she had a..." the person sings "On that farm they had a..." Just a small grammar thing that this former journalist is willing to overlook. Considering how many names can be used for both genders I can only imagine what a headache it would be to go through Name Your Tune's 4000+ catalog of names and rework the songs for "he" and "she."
Now for the fun part. Name Your Tune is offering Buried in Laundry readers $5 off a personalized CD order. All you need to do is enter the coupon code BIL at check out.
Also, Name Your Tune is giving one lucky Buried in Laundry reader a personalized CD. (For you moms of multiples who read this blog, remember the CD CAN be personalized for more than one child) Please note the above image shows numerous personalized CDs. Your prize will consist of one CD.

To enter the giveaway: (Be sure to include an email address in your entry)
  • Go to the Name Your Tune website and tell me what other personalized item catches your eye (This step is required. Your entry will be accepted if you do not complete this step)
Once you've done that, you can earn additional entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry or leave a comment if you are already a follower
  • Blog about this contest and provide a link to this post and to Name Your Tune
  • Become a follower of @quadmama on Twitter
An email address is required to enter. This contest is open to residents of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The deadline to enter is 6 p.m. MST Wednesday Oct. 21, 2009. The winner will be selected by Random.org and will have 72 hours after notification to provide me with shipping information or a new winner will be chosen.

October 14, 2009

Little Luxuries

Having spent Saturday night through this morning with no hot water, I've realized all the little luxuries I take for granted. (Yes, the water heater was fixed yesterday, but a gas leak forced us to shut off the gas last night until the leak could be repaired this morning. Welcome to my life). I know I'll sound spoiled, but after spending several days boiling water to wash my dishes, I know there are certain luxuries I hate living without.
  • Hot water is definitely at the top of my list. I am grateful for clean drinking water. I am spoiled by hot water to shower and bathe.
  • My dishwasher: sorry but I hated washing dishes for six by hand every day
  • Power everything in my car: The computer system in our Suburban needed upgraded about a month ago. I discovered this when the power locks, windows, etc. wouldn't work. Luxury? Yes... and quite a nice one when you're trying to keep track of four toddlers in a busy parking lot. Hit a button, the doors are unlocked and you can toss everyone in the car in a hurry.
  • My hair dryer: I have crazy, random waves and curls in my hair that can only be tamed by my hair dryer and hair straightener.
  • Netflix: it's the one splurge Hubby and I have. We don't have cable. It's cheaper to just rent what we want to watch through Netflix.
  • Frydaddy: OK, I don't actually have this, yet. Our neighbors recently had us over for a Mexican feast, which included chips made in their Frydaddy. My mother-in-law has Hubby's grandma's Frydaddy and never uses it, so she's giving it to us. Hubby and I have already made a pact that we are using it just for chips (they're delicious!). Please confiscate the Frydaddy if I ever blog about deep frying Twinkies.
  • A ceramic top stove: I no longer have one of these. I didn't realize how wonderful it was until I went back to a regular stove. Boooo!
Of course, I'm also grateful for my health and my family... but I consider those necessities, not luxuries.

October 13, 2009

Our Slumber Party

I have always joked that having my daughters share a bedroom is the equivalent of hosting a slumber party every night. When we first transitioned to toddler beds, those girls were running around their room well past my bed time.
I try to be a "go with the flow" mom. Sure, I have rules and expectations, but sometimes it's fun to throw it all out the window and surprise my girls. The other night Roo, Cakes and Sue-Sue were climbing in their sisters' beds and pretending to be that sister. After everyone had brushed her teeth I said "OK, if you want to stay in the bed you're in, that's fine... but you have to actually sleep." So Roo claimed Cakes' bed, Cakes jumped in Sue-Sue's bed and Sue-Sue went to Roo's bed. Tortilla wanted nothing to do with this and I can't blame her. I hate sleeping in any bed but my own.
At first, it all seemed to be OK. Sure, when I said goodnight to Sue-Sue she insisted I call her Roo (remember, she was in Roo's bed). I reminded Roo that she was in Cakes' bed and could she please get up to use the potty rather than wet the bed. (In all fairness, Roo has had only one accident since becoming 100% diaper free, but Cakes seemed a little skepitcal about having Roo in her bed). Everyone settled down and I felt comfortable leaving the room.
Just as Hubby and I sat down to eat we heard the pitter patter of little feet. Roo was running down the hallway claiming she needed to use the potty. She sat down but nothing happened. I soon had her settled back into Cakes' bed. A few minutes later we heard a loud thud. Sue-Sue had fallen out of Roo's bed. After getting her squared away more noises followed. They wanted to talk. They wanted to sing. They wanted to run around the room. After about an hour I lost my patience. Everyone was sent back to her own bed... and was sound asleep within minutes. As for Tortilla, she slept through the whole thing. I can only imagine what sleepovers will be like when their friends are involved!

October 12, 2009

Living Like Pioneers

I recently read a post on BoufMom9's site about how her new house doesn't have a dishwasher. She captured some great shots of all her children (all 9 of them) pitching in to wash dishes. I commented on her blog something along the lines of "I can't imagine not having a dishwasher." I jinxed myself because I spent Sunday afternoon handwashing our dishes.
Oh, don't worry. My dishwasher is fine. It's the water heater that has crapped out. When I left for work at 6 a.m Saturday I had a nice, hot, steamy shower. When I returned that afternoon all I wanted was a hot soak because it was freezing all day (think snow and maybe 20 degrees). I cranked up the hot water and prepared for a scalding bath (my favorite... the bath is not hot enough unless my skin turns red). It wasn't that hot. So as I soaked I grumbled a little thinking either a) Hubby took a shower right before I came home or b) one of the cats managed to move the temperature gauge on the water heater (it has happened at least twice). A little later Hubby asked if I had hot water during my bath. Turns out he didn't have hot water when he tried to take a shower.
Sooooo... after numerous phone calls to my father-in-law that night, he and Hubby figured out the problem. My in-laws came over first thing Sunday morning and Hubby and his dad set out to quickly fix it. First, the moron at Home Depot gave them the exact opposite of what they asked for. Instead of a left-threading thermal cup he sold them a right threading thermal cup. (I know, I know. I sound so handy. I'm just repeating what Hubby told me). Then a trip to ACE Hardware resulted in our typical luck. The part we needed can only be purchased at a plumbing store... and those stores aren't open on Sundays.
So... I boiled hot water to wash our dishes. I boiled water so my daughters could have a warm bath. I washed my hair in ice cold water in the kitchen sink. I feel clean... but still a little cold. My father-in-law, bless his heart, is expected back here any minute with the proper parts to fix the water heater so we don't have to buy a new one. Did I just jinx myself again????
UPDATE: Oh, it's just my luck. My father-in-law spent the morning trying to track down the part we need. A friend of his who is a plumber made some calls and found out our water heater is currently part of a class action lawsuit. All the parts have been pulled off the shelves. Now we have to call the manufacturer and make them overnight the part to us. And so, our luck continues.

October 08, 2009

A Grammar Break

I am not an expert on grammar. In high school and college I loved the literature portion of English classes, but could barely diagram a sentence to save my life. Still, having spent 10 years as a journalist, I grasped an understanding and appreciation for correct grammar.
Sure, you could go through my blog and find errors. I'm more likely to end a sentence with a preposition than rework it into a proper format. Still, there are certain words and phrases that drive me nuts.

  • "For certain" or "For sure"
As in, "I'm not for certain" or "I'm not for sure." I picked up this pet peeve from mother. She was constantly annoyed by a high school friend of mine who would always respond with "I'm not for certain" when he didn't know an answer. Take out the "for" please. You're not certain, you're not sure. I think it was a regional thing because once I moved away from my hometown I never heard that phrase again.
  • "Completely destroyed" or "Totally destroyed"
News reporters love to use those two phrases. Here is my beef: how can something be partially destroyed? It can't. Thus, the house that burned down is destroyed. Period. Whenever we hear that phrase during the news Hubby looks at me waiting for my rant.

I have no idea what inspired today's rant. For some reason those phrases have been stuck in my head lately. As I said, I'm no "grammarian." I have slip ups, just like everyone else. I don't judge people who use those phrases. I just really needed to get that off my chest!

October 07, 2009

Monsters and Aliens

I think this Halloween could be the year my daughters have a full-on freak out. It happens to all kids at some point, right? I remember when my sister was little and a babysitter took us trick or treating. At one point my sister turned around, saw a "monster" behind her and could not be consoled for quite some time.
Last year I was extremely concerned about how my daughters would handle Halloween. My solution? My four little witches went trick or treating in broad daylight. It was barely dusk by the time we returned home. For the remainder of the evening they handed out candy to the other ghouls and goblins, and seemed fine viewing the monsters from the safety of a house.
This year, however, they're more aware of "scary" and what it means to be frightened. They're more vocal about their feelings and they're not afraid to be afraid. We have one neighbor who goes all out on Halloween. He has scary music playing in his garage. He chases trick or treaters with a fake chain saw. I'm not sure my girls are ready for that. We will likely have to skip his house.
My daughters are excited to dress up for Halloween. They're going to be flowers this year. They can't wait to go door to door and say "Happy Halloween!" (Wait until the remember candy is part of the deal!) I want them to retain their enthusiasm for Halloween and will do my best to make sure this year isn't too spooky for them.

October 06, 2009

The Tale of the Pink Ballerina Slippers

Once upon a time there were four sisters who were obsessed with shoes, even though they were just four years old. Any time they received new shoes they fought over who would wear which pair. (When you're shopping for four you're rarely going to find four of the same pair, especially when the shoes are from second-hand stores).
One day, soon after the little girls finished eating lunch, the doorbell rang. The little girls watched Mommy talk to the man in the brown uniform. "Mr. Brown" then handed their mommy a box. What could it be? What could it be?
Mommy opened the box and discovered it was a present from grandma and grandpa. While Mommy was grateful to see her little girls had received new shoes, inwardly she groaned a little because she knew a fight was inevitable. First the little girls pulled out a pair of Dora shoes. They were all very excited because they had outgrown their previous pair. Then Sue Sue saw swim shoes for next summer. This made her happy because her feet always end up with scrapes from the bottom of the pool. Then Tortilla gasped. "Mommy!" she cried, "Look! Ballerina sl--. "
Before Tortilla could finish her sentence Cakes had grabbed the treasure... pink ballerina slippers. Tortilla burst into tears and Cakes eagerly slipped the shoes on her own feet. "But Mommy," Tortilla cried "I want the ballerina slippers. PLEASE!!!"
Mommy had to think fast. "Well, Cakes is taking her turn right now. Cakes, you need to share." "No," Cakes said. "These slippers are mine." "OK," said Mommy. "Here are your options. You can wear the slippers until the oven timer beeps and then give the slippers to Tortilla, or I can put them away." Cakes didn't say anything.
Mommy set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer beeped, Cakes excitedly pulled the slippers off her feet and handed them to Tortilla. Tortilla danced and twirled on the hardwood floor in the kitchen, desperately trying to enjoy every minute of her 10 minute deadline. When the timer beeped again, Tortilla looked a little sad, but took off the slippers and gave them to Roo. Roo twirled and jumped and ran around the house. Ten minutes later, Roo turned the slippers over to Sue Sue with no objections. Sue Sue walked around on her tippy toes with a huge smile on her face. Ten minutes later the timer beeped again, and it was time for dinner. Throughout dinner each of the four little girls talked about how much fun it is to be a ballerina.
The moral of this story: sometimes my daughters surprise me with how willing they are to share.

October 05, 2009

Please Tell Me Why....

A few things have been bothering me lately. Maybe some of you can explain them to me.

  • Do all four of my daughters like salad, yet refuse to simply eat vegetables?
  • Does my pickiest eater think cucumbers are the best thing ever, but hates chocolate milk?
  • Does Tortilla accept a carrot every time one is offered to her, but always chews it and then spits it out?
  • Can they only tolerate organic mac and cheese and have serious stomach problems if they eat cheap mac and cheese? (OK, I think I actually know the answer to this one).
  • Do my daughters like quesadillas, but are reluctant to try grilled cheese sandwiches?
  • Do my daughters like hummus, but don't care for my homemade spinach dip?
I suppose if I knew the answers to these questions I would be a parenting expert and would probably be racking in millions with my own talk show!

October 04, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of the Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters prize pack, as selected by Random.org, is....
  • #12 Jenna
Congratulations, Jenna. Your prize pack will be sent out soon. Thank you to everyone who entered. Also a big thank you to My Blog Spark for providing the prize pack. I'll have another fun contest coming up soon.

October 01, 2009

Giveaway: Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters

There's a certain point in the day in between lunch and dinner when my daughters need a little pick-me-up. Finding the right snack can be a challenge. They can spend weeks eating the same thing day in and day out and then decide they don't like that particular snack anymore. So I was thrilled to receive a package yesterday from My Blog Spark containing Nature Valley's new Granola Nut Clusters.
There are four flavors to this new snack: Nut Lovers, Roasted Almonds, Roasted Cashews and Honey Roasted Peanuts. Each treat combines nuts, granola and a touch of honey for a yummy mix of sweet and salty.

I'll be honest, here. My stomach does not tolerate any nut other than peanuts. I tried the Honey Roasted Peanut variety and it is delicious. Just a few "clusters" curbed my snacking instinct. According to the package, a serving size is about 7 clusters, which contains 140 calories and 7 grams of fat.
I put the other flavors to the "quadruplet test." My
girls enjoyed each cluster flavor and asked for more. Roo said "it's better than chocolate," which I think is a pretty amazing review for a four-year-old. The best review, though, may have come from my pickiest eater. Sue Sue opted not to try the Roasted Almond flavor, which was their first sample. She rarely tries anything new, so I thought I might have to make this a "triple test." When I opened the bag of Nut Lovers clusters, she made a bee line for the table, popped it in her mouth and (through a mouth full of granola, peanuts and pecans) said "this is tasty."My prize pack also came with a sling backpack, stainless steel water bottle, flashlight and binoculars. (Hubby claimed the binoculars the second he saw them).
Thanks to My Blog Spark and Nature Valley, one of my readers can win the same Nature Valley Granola Nut Clusters prize package. You'll receive all four nut cluster flavors, plus the backpack, water bottle, flashlight and binoculars.
Here's how you enter: leave me a comment telling me what your family does to enjoy nature. Please make sure you leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you're the winner.
Want additional entries? (leave a separate comment for each additional entry)
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry (or let me know if you are already a follower)
  • Blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post
  • Tweet about this contest and include @quadmama
The contest is open to U.S. residents only. You must have an email address to enter. The deadline to enter is 10:00 a.m. MST Sunday Oct. 4, 2009. The winner will be selected by random.org. The winner will have 48 hours after notification to send me his/her mailing address or a new winner will be selected.