September 29, 2010

We Survived Another Year of Flu Shots

I try to have our flu vaccines near the beginning of October. I was stunned to see some pharmacies offering it in early to mid-August, but I still waited.
Yesterday, much to my girls' disappointment, we went for our shots. (Hubby received a free vaccine at work. Lucky!) When I picked the girls up from preschool I was informed by their teacher that they were nervous about their shots. Apparently that's all they talked about all morning. I had told them in the morning in hopes of letting in sink in.
Needless to say, there was lots of crying during the actual process. Sue Sue, ever the actress, went last and was "crying" loudly. When I pointed out that she didn't even have tears, she started laughing and was pretty much still laughing during her injection. She tried to squeeze some crocodile tears, but was too interested in the prospect of receiving a sticker to pull it off convincingly. As we left, she told the entire waiting room "I really liked my shot." Now as long as we stay healthy the tears (and the ice cream treat afterward) will have been worth it.

September 27, 2010

A Heavy Heart

Yesterday started out as a fairly simple day. I worked for 8 1/2 hours, but it was stress-free and went by pretty fast. Then I came home, checked Facebook, and found myself puzzled. People were posting disturbing things on one friend's page. After the use of Google, I found myself staring at a sickening news headline "Man kills self and two sons." My reaction? "No. NO. Do NOT let this be the what everyone is referring to." To make a long story short, my friend came home the other night and found her husband and two sons (6 and 8) shot to death. It has been ruled murder-suicide.
Let me just say, on the off chance that this friend or those who know her might be reading this post, that I am not trying to trivialize or sensationalize her grief. I am just stunned and need to get it out. She and I were friends in high school. She lived in my neighborhood (a few blocks away). We rode the bus together. We were in marching band together. We drifted apart after high school, but kept in touch through Facebook. She was a sweetheart, one of the nicest people I have ever known.
I'm angry. I'm shocked. I'm saddened. Why do people do this? If you want to leave this world, for whatever reason, OK. Well, not OK, but you know what I mean. But why... why... WHY???? Why would the children be involved in this?!
The news stories just keep coming. Reporters are speculating on what went "wrong" in their marriage, in their family, in their life. As a former reporter, I am embarrassed to read what some outlets are reporting... neighborhood gossip at its worst. Some outlets have gone so far as to lift family photos from her Facebook page. (Blame her lack of "privacy protection" on those pictures, but perhaps she didn't realize her settings. How do these agencies even know they're using pictures of the right family?!) Message boards are filled with hateful comments from people who didn't know this family. A woman lost her family in one cruel act and strangers think they have a right to judge.
I just want to ask each of you to say a little prayer for my friend and hug your kids today. In the past two weeks, I've had other friends who have experienced personal tragedies. Each of them have made me take a closer look at my own life, be thankful for the life I have, and have made me work hard to not sweat the small stuff.
(Thank you for letting me get it out!)

A New Nightly Battle

I've finally (somewhat) won the fight to keep Roo and Sue Sue in bed at night. When we transitioned to big girl beds, they wanted to run around upstairs for hours. Now they look at books until they conk out. Whatever. They're in bed... that's half the battle.
Roo has now moved on to a bigger challenge. She does not want to sleep under her covers. She wants to sleep on top of her comforter with a random blanket on top of her. Every night when I tuck her in she says "I want to sleep on top of my covers." Again, this would actually make sense if she didn't then want a blanket on top of her.
Lately I've started putting Roo under her covers when I go to bed. She's sound asleep and doesn't notice. Or does she? Every morning, she's back on top of her covers... and the bed is made, so it's not as though she's just rolling out of the covers during her sleep! For now I've given in. What's the harm with sleeping on the covers? She's the warmest of the bunch and doesn't need much to stay warm at night. I'm hoping that in the winter, if she's cold, she'll realize the benefits of snuggling under a cozy comforter!

September 21, 2010

Can We Start Using Contact Lenses Now?

I've posted in the past about my frustration with my girls' glasses. Two of them have been in glasses for more than a year. At one point I was at the optometrist's office once a month having nose pieces replaced.
About two weeks ago it was picture day at preschool. As she stood in line, Roo's wire frame glasses snapped. She says she wasn't even touching them at the time. I believe her. Those things have been bent out of shape so many times that I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. It's not that she doesn't take care of her glasses. She does. Sometimes, though, in those oh so fun sisterly fights, her sisters grab her glasses off her face and they get bent out of whack. The good thing in all of this is that I already had their annual eye exam scheduled for the day after pictures.
Tortilla is thrilled because the optometrist determined that her farsightedness has corrected itself enough that she no longer needs glasses. Cakes and Sue Sue have never needed glasses and still don't. Roo will likely need a vision correction for the rest of her life, although the optometrist noted even her farsightedness isn't "as bad" as it was a year ago.
After the appointment we had some decisions to make, namely what glasses Roo would wear. We spent some time looking at our options. Hubby and I narrowed it down to three pair. One pair Roo immediately nixed. Out of our choices she found the pair she wanted... pink, plastic frames. They weren't my first choice, but since they were in my top three and she liked them, I went with them. The good thing is that they don't require separate nose pieces, so I've automatically reduced my trips to the optometrist for emergency repairs. Let's just hope this pair stays in one piece for a long time! (If not, hey, at least I bought the "protection package!!")

September 20, 2010

Lessons Learned from the Birthday Bash

This year my daughters' birthday fell on a Saturday. This meant we spent the entire weekend celebrating. It was fun, mainly stress-free and a tad exhausting. Here are some things I learned.
  • Taking four girls to a doll store the day before their birthday and telling them they can pick a doll can be quite overwhelming.
The girls' godparents took them to the American Girl doll store and let them each pick out a Bitty Twin doll. (The dolls come in a set of two and each girl received one doll). If you are not familiar with American Girl dolls, let's just say there are tons of accessories and clothes you can buy, along with dozens of doll options. I've never seen my girls so quiet. They just didn't know what to think. I held Tortilla up to the case with the Bitty Twin dolls and asked her if she wanted to take one home. She shook her head no! Fortunately, Sue Sue knew which doll she wanted and then her sisters realized what was going on and wanted to pick one, too. (They are all quite happy with their dolls now. Interestingly enough, Sue Sue and Roo, who share a room, picked the same doll. Cakes and Tortilla, the other roommates, picked matching dolls, too). After a plea on this blog, I found someone who makes doll clothes. I gave each of them a dress on their birthday. They have dressed and undressed those dolls dozens of times since yesterday. If you are looking for inexpensive, beautifully made doll clothes, shoot me an email and I'll put you in contact with the person who makes them!
  • Something is going to go wrong.
No matter how much you plan, something is going to happen to make you shake your head. I promised the girls a birthday breakfast of blueberry muffins and smoothies. The blender broke that morning! Fortunately, Hubby is quite handy and managed to fix the blender for one final "blend" and the smoothies were saved. (Now I get to treat myself to a new blender, which may not sound exciting to many of you, but I've been wanting a Magic Bullet for a long time.)
  • It pays to sign up for a company's email list.
Instead of a party, we opted to treat the girls to their first visit to Chuck E. Cheese. The grandparents who live near us came, as did the girls' godparents. About a week ago, I signed up for Chuck E. Cheese's email list and received a batch of coupons just for signing up. If you go to the restaurant without coupons, for $27.99 you get one large pizza, two soft drinks and 35 tokens. With my coupons, we spent $29.99 and received one large pizza, one medium pizza, four soft drinks and 35 tokens... plus I had a bonus coupon to receive 20 free tokens. Once you add in the two additional soft drinks and four milks we purchased, we spent just over $40... not bad if you look at the prices without coupons. Besides, I didn't have to clean anything up! (Oh, and after using our 55 tokens we were ready to go home for cake and ice cream).
  • Mermaids really do exist.
Our celebration continued on Sunday with a trip to our local aquarium. It's a pretty pricey adventure, but the woman who taught our swim lessons works there and invited us as her guests. She took us to her office and let the girls hold a tree frog and touch a snake and a bearded dragon. Then we were free to roam the aquarium. One of the shows involves "mermaids" swimming in the tank with fish and sharks. It was pretty amazing to see the underwater stamina these women have. They didn't have any air tanks (a diver was nearby) so they would have to surface every few minutes. While they were underwater, they were smiling and waving and acting out a lesson about conservation and clean water. After the show, the mermaids were pulled out in a wagon to meet the audience and take pictures with little girls. (I say girls because not a single boy wanted to pose with the mermaids).

All in all, we had an amazing and fun birthday. Now I should probably figure out how to top this in another year! (Oh, and just a little clarification: While I mentioned some specific products and places, no one paid me for this post. I just think it would have been silly to refer to these places as X or Y. Hmmmm, maybe they'll thank me later for the free advertising!!)

September 15, 2010

It's Almost Birthday Time

In just a few days we will be celebrating the big "5." This birthday is a little bittersweet. Five is a big deal... my babies aren't babies. But we're going to have fun.
This is the first year we've really acknowledged their individual tastes. In the past, I've made them share a cake or a theme. This year, we're not having a big bash with friends. It was too stressful last year, so we're spending the money on a trip to Chuck E. Cheese. For some reason, my daughters decided that you're not allowed to go to Chuck E. Cheese until you're 5. I decided to humor them.
Anyway, when it came time for the cake, I was a little stumped. I looked through the cake book at our local grocery store, but nothing jumped out at me. I talked it over with Hubby. He asked if I could have four small cakes made. I tried one time at the grocery store bakery and it was a huge hassle. Hubby suggested we make the cakes. Typically when you make a round cake you make two layers. Instead, we'll just make four one-layer cakes (this means we are going to have plenty of leftovers because none of us eat a lot of cake). Each of the girls requested different toppers. It was like looking for a needle in a hay stack. I went to our local party store, which was a wasted trip. The girls want Sleeping Beauty, Hello Kitty, Strawberry Shortcake and Cinderella. The princesses were easy to find at the party store... but Sleeping Beauty had on a blue dress. (What?! She ALWAYS wears pink... I think). The selections for Hello Kitty and Strawberry Shortcake were disappointing. I finally left the party store and went to a toy store. For much less than the price of cake toppers, I found four toys to put on the cakes. I'm still not happy with the Hello Kitty toy I found, but it will have to do. I bet next year when none of them request Hello Kitty, I'll find tons of cake toppers!
It's bound to be a busy weekend, but hopefully a fun one! I'll tell you more about it next week!

September 14, 2010

"The" Question

I haven't made it a secret that my daughters are the result of a successful IVF. At least I don't think I've made it a secret. It's not like I bring it up in every post, but I do bring it up.
Anyway, I always cringe at the questions from strangers, the ones along the lines of "Was it natural?" or "How did that happen?" Usually it's just a Nosey Nelly trying to satisfy her (or his) curiosity. Still, I try to be polite, if somewhat vague, in my answer, because every now and then, the questioner responds with "We're looking into IVF (or another fertility treatment), too."
I never know how to respond to these women, other than an "I'm sorry you're struggling. I wish you much success." A few weeks ago, the pool monitor at our neighborhood pool started drilling me with questions. Right as I was about to become frustrated, she confided that she and her husband have been struggling to conceive for years. She said that while most people likely look at me and feel overwhelmed, she would give anything in the world to be this overwhelmed. Then last week at the dentist, the hygienist poured out all her fertility struggles. This was largely a one-sided conversation, as she was cleaning my teeth for most of it, so my response was mainly "Mmmm hmmm."
I have great one-liners stored up for the annoying "How did you end up with quadruplets?" question, but so far, I can't bring myself to use them. Even the curious are mainly well-intentioned and often don't realize how intrusive their questions can be. Many times they know someone who has twins or triplets and just want to share those stories. It's hard to feel like people are constantly judging me, but at the same time, I want to be able to provide some comfort and hope to those who are struggling.

September 13, 2010

What is it With Dogs?

Why does it seem every child at some point in his or her life asks for a dog? I remember wanting a dog growing up. My parents eventually got two... when I was in my 20's and no longer living with them. Interesting because they always told me a dog would bother their allergies. Hmmmmmm....
Now, here I am, faced with four girls who want a puppy. Not a dog, a puppy. It doesn't help that pretty much all of our neighbors have a dog (or two). They feel like I'm depriving them by not giving them a puppy.
It doesn't matter that we have three cats. At least one of the cats would be delighted if the girls played with him every single day... and rubbed his belly often... and kept his food dish full. Unfortunately, he gets a little excited and will accidentally scratch them when he's having too much fun, so the girls aren't as excited about having a cat as they should be. (This winter, though, they'll be glad to have cats when the boys are keeping their feet warm!)
Still, they want a puppy. They want to take him on a walk. They want to play fetch with him. Of course, when I asked who will clean up the poo in the back yard, the answer is "You" (as in me!) No thanks. They want all the fun, but don't understand the work.
I'm slowly convincing them a dog isn't the best pet for our family. Tortilla is starting to realize she doesn't want a puppy. Instead, she wants a hamster. Ummmmm... no.

September 12, 2010

The Winner Is...

The winner of the $60 CSN Stores gift certificate is.... ROSEMARIE. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who entered!

September 08, 2010

Going Green

Some of you are going to wish you had this problem. My daughters cannot get enough vegetables! I need to start a garden, because they are all about the leafy greens lately. Unfortunately, we are basically the only people in our neighborhood who don't own a dog, so our backyard has become a "Bunny Refuge," which means a garden is not a possibility right now.
Anyway, the girls who, until recently, shunned chocolate milk, ask for veggies on a regular basis. Two nights ago they wanted green beans, but when I couldn't open the canning jar they settled for frozen peas. They devoured the peas and asked for more. The night before that they ate a salad... and asked for more. They've eaten all the vegetables, so last night they had to go without. You would have thought I was the meanest mom on Earth.
Even my pickiest eater, the one who forced me to establish the "One Bite Rule," likes her veggies. She especially enjoys cucumbers dipped in Ranch dressing. So, I'm going to try something new. It seems my daughters are going through a growth spurt. They eat what I think is a huge meal for preschoolers and then ask for seconds. (They're on the "skinny side," so if they want to eat more, I'm not going to stop them.) Today, when I go to the grocery store, I'm going to stock up on vegetables (and some fruit for breakfast and lunch). Before I'm finished making their meal, I'm going to invite them to the table for a little crudite. The worst that can happen is they won't want to sit down to eat raw vegetables before dinner. I'm sure it's not something I'll do every night, but I figure if they want to eat vegetables, why would I discourage them?
(Don't forget to enter the CSN Stores giveaway!)

September 07, 2010

Dressing for the Weather

This time of year can be frustrating when it comes to dressing my daughters. For example, today is expected to be in the mid-80's, but right now, as they get ready for school, it's only 50 degrees. Shorts? Pants? Jackets?
Layers are probably my best bet, but you try sending a bunch of preschoolers with clothes they need to keep track of and see how much actually makes it home. This morning they'll be going in light jackets. I figure they'll need the jackets when they're dropped off at school because they have to stand outside to wait for their classmates. By the end of the day, those jackets will likely be shoved in their backpacks, which is fine. Recess could be tricky. It might be really warm by then. Hopefully they'll be able to figure out if jackets are necessary.
I need to invest in more leggings. They're lighter than jeans, but offer a little more warmth than shorts. My daughters think leggings and baby doll shirts are the best outfits ever, because then they feel like they're wearing dresses.
The rest of the week is supposed to be warmer, so I'm hoping that applies to the morning hours, too. Either way, there's no snow on the ground (yet), so I guess I should just be happy!
Don't forget, you still have time to enter the CSN Stores giveaway.

September 06, 2010

Giveaway: CSN Stores Gift Certificate

You may recall around Father's Day I posted a review for CSN Stores. I was provided a one-time use $60 gift certificate, and, after mulling over hundreds of items, from bistro sets to doll accessories to cat beds, I finally settled on a set of grill tools for Hubby. You can click here to read my full review. Overall, I was pleased with my shopping experience.
Now, CSN has agreed to give one lucky Buried in Laundry reader a similar opportunity. That's right... someone is going to win a $60 gift certificate to spend as you wish at any of the company's 200+ websites.
Let me layout some ground rules, first. The winner will be provided with a one-time use $60 gift certificate. In other words, if you don't use the entire amount in one purchase, you forfeit what you didn't spend. You are allowed to use the gift certificate toward a larger purchase. Potential winners should note while many items have free shipping, there are items which DO have shipping fees.

To enter this giveaway: (this step is a must)
  • Visit the CSN Store websites and leave a comment with a valid email address telling me what item you might purchase if you win
For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry (or leave a comment indicating you already follow)
  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post
This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses. The deadline to enter is 11 am EST Sunday Sept. 12, 2010. The winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen.
Disclosure: Any opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own. While CSN Stores is providing a gift certificate for the giveaway winner, no monetary compensation was provided for this post.

September 01, 2010

Back to School Bugs

Since my daughters have been in preschool before, I should have known this was going to happen. Here we are just a week into the school year and they all have runny noses. It's the sign that school is back in session... and the germs are back with a vengeance.
I can't complain too much. At least my girls are building their immunity. (I'm choosing to see the positive side of this). Still, it's frustrating to have ended the previous school year with pink eye and start this year with a cold. I'm pretty sure this is a cold and not allergies, just based on some of the other symptoms.
I'm not the only parent with this problem. Most of my Facebook friends who are moms have status updates relating to illness. One of my co-workers has a third grader who missed the entire second week of school due to strep throat. It's just how it goes.
I, too, unfortunately am falling victim to the Back to School Bugs. My throat is on fire. I'm sneezing up a storm. But remember... I'm choosing to see the positive side of this, so here it goes: I would rather have all of us be sick NOW, instead of in a few weeks when we celebrate a fifth birthday times four!