December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Since I don't want to end 2010 on my vent from yesterday, I thought I would briefly blog today. It has FINALLY snowed where I live. Considering some years we have a blizzard by Thanksgiving, this has been a much delayed winter. My daughters wanted to make snow angels at the first sign of snow. 
I hope 2011 brings all of you good things. I am excited by the new year. I'm making some changes (think eating healthier, exercising more) and I hope I can stick with them.
(There's still time to enter my Purex Complete Crystals Softener giveaway).
Happy New Year!

December 30, 2010

Jazz Hands

We've all worked with someone who is an expert at "Jazz Hands." My friend coined this phrase and I love it. It totally describes a manager I can't stand working with. He is great at making it look like he's working but really isn't doing much. He looks like he's busy on the computer but is really just answering personal email. He sounds like he's involved in a serious phone conversation, but he really just spent a half hour chatting with his wife. He's great at delegating, not supporting. 
I don't work retail because it's fun or even because I want to get out of the house. I work retail because it accommodates my crazy life. It is not my goal to work in retail management. If I wanted endless hours during the holidays I would still be in television news. I am not saying my job is beneath me. It provides me a pay check and a discount. But I bust my butt when I'm there and I expect a "thanks" every now and then, or at least a "hey, things were really crazy when you came in tonight. Thanks for doing what you could to restore order."
I'm just so tired of one particular manager treating all of us like dirt. I think he takes pleasure in making my female coworkers cry. At least I'm "older" (most of my coworkers are in their 20s) so I've been around enough to know what is acceptable and what is not. I'm not afraid to stand up for myself and point out when people are being treated poorly. He does the jazz hands, we do the work, he gets the credit. Can you tell I had a rough night at work last night?
On a lighter note, take time to check out my review for Purex Complete Crystals Softener and enter my giveaway.

December 29, 2010

Taming the Clutter

One of my daughters' favorite activities is playing with dress up clothes. We have old Halloween costumes, as well as assorted princess dresses, shoes and accessories. We have been storing them in a small box, but when more dress up clothes showed up under the Christmas tree, Hubby and I knew it was time to take action.
After a little brain storming, Hubby came up with a great idea. He put a coat rack in our living room/play room. It has worked wonders. All the costumes go on the rack. All the shoes, purses, jewelry and other accessories go in the aforementioned box. 

It's a small step toward "decluttering" our house. My girls have been so excited by the coat rack that they've been much better at cleaning up. For now, it's still fun to hang things up. OK, so based on the picture, the rack is a tad cluttered, but at least the costumes aren't scattered around my house.It's only one little corner of my house that actually has some organization, but we have to start somewhere!
Don't forget to check out my Purex Complete Crystals Softener giveaway and enter for your chance to win a free bottle of the softener.

December 28, 2010

Giveaway: Purex Complete Crystals Softener

As you can tell from the title of my blog, I do a lot of laundry. In a good week (meaning no emergency loads due to illness, etc.) I do 12 loads of laundry. I do my daughters' laundry every other day, plus have a "family laundry day" to wash my clothes and Hubby's clothes. 
I'm always looking for ways to simplify this dreaded chore. The main lifesaver was receiving a "hand-me-down" front loading washer and dryer set from a relative. She upgraded. We benefited. It has definitely made laundry day easier. Still, as someone who uses liquid fabric softener, I've struggled with how much to put in my front loader. In a "standard" washer I would fill the designated area with softener, top the rest off with water and... done. The way my front loader is set up it's not as easy, that's why I was eager to try Purex Complete Crystals Softener. As a member of Purex Insiders, I'm among the first to give it a try. In fact, it just went on sale today at Wal Mart (other retailers will begin carrying the product in January and February).
As the name states, it's a crystal, not a liquid or a powder. It goes directly into your washer, which took a lot of the guess-work out for me. A few sprinkles and I'm done. According to Purex, the Purex Complete Crystal Softeners are 92% natural and, unlike oil-based liquid fabric softeners, won't coat your laundry with oil. The product goes in the washer, rather than in a dispenser cup, to penetrate the fabric. According to Purex, this is the first major fabric softener that is 100% safe to use on children's sleepwear, as it does not impair these flame retardant qualities.
I've used the crystal softener a few times now. My initial reaction is a little goes a long way. The smell is nice, but strong. You really need to pay attention to how much you use. My first load I didn't feel like my clothes were as soft as they have been with liquid softeners, but after putting in fewer crystals in the next load I was satisfied. The smell wasn't as overpowering and my clothes were soft.
I'm giving away one coupon for a free bottle of Purex Complete Crystals Softener.
To enter the giveaway: (A valid email address must be left in your comments)
  • Visit the Purex site and leave me a comment telling me which scent you think you would like to try. This step is mandatory.
For additional entries: (leave a separate comment for each entry)
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry (or leave a comment telling me you already follow)
  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post
  • Follow me on Twitter (@Quadmamablog) or leave a comment telling me you already follow me on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway (include @Quadmamablog in your tweet)
The deadline to enter is 9 am MST Monday January 3, 2011. Three winners will be chosen. A valid email address is required to enter. This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. The winner has 48 hours after notification to provide me with a mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.
(Disclosure: As a Purex Insider, I was provided a complimentary sample to review. Purex also gave me a coupon for a free bottle which I will be passing on to the winner. No monetary compensation was provided for this post. All opinions are mine).

December 27, 2010

What I Learned from Christmas

This was supposed to be the best Christmas ever. It wasn't. There were lots of things that happened bringing tears and frustration throughout the day. I won't say Christmas was horrible, but I will say it didn't go the way any of us thought and that made us all a little sad. Here are the things I learned:
  • Illness is inevitable in our family during the holidays
It started the morning of Christmas Eve. I woke up to one of the girls throwing up. She has been battling a cold and made herself sick from her continuous coughing. Fortunately, she was better almost immediately. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for me. I woke up Christmas morning raring to go. Soon after the gifts had been opened and the cinnamon rolls devoured, I started feeling cold. Eventually I was freezing. I was so chilled that even sitting in the sun wrapped in my Snuggie wasn't helping. Soon, my stomach started churning. By the time my in-laws showed up to give the girls their gifts and eat lunch, I was ready to retreat to my bed. A few hours later, I started feeling a tad better and we managed to spend the night playing all our new games. (This, of course, caused huge drama with a relative who invited us over to dinner at the last minute and was beyond angry that Hubby refused to go. He didn't think it was appropriate to leave me alone on Christmas and I'm grateful that he stuck to his guns).
  • My closet is not a good hiding spot for gifts
My girls aren't old enough to know gifts are hiding somewhere in our house. My closet seemed like a good spot.... until the night I wanted to wrap presents. I had to walk by each of their rooms with the gifts, so Hubby and I had to wait until they were sound asleep. Next year, the gifts will be stored in the basement!
  • Bike helmets should be bought sooner, rather than later
The big gift this year was big girl bikes. They were a hit. Somehow we avoided a white Christmas and instead had a 50 degree Christmas... perfect for testing out the new bikes. I couldn't buy helmets before Christmas without giving away the surprise (I need the girls with me to make sure the helmets fit), but after Cakes took four spills yesterday, I've decided we'll be going to the store in the next few days for helmets.
  • You need to go with the flow
Yes, there were some disappointments, namely the illness and drama, but overall we still had a good Christmas. Things didn't go as planned/hoped, but we were all together, we're all healthy (well, we are now) and we managed to share more laughs than tears. Months from now when I look back at this Christmas, I won't look back at the drama. I'll look back at the smiles and excitement as my girls figured out how to maneuver their new bikes. I'll look back at their delight realizing the game Pretty Pretty Princess involves wearing tons of jewelry. I'll look back at the fact that all six of us found a way to salvage a day that could have been a disaster.

December 22, 2010

There's a First Time for Everything

Yesterday was a "first" for me. It was the first time I took all four of my girls to the grocery store to do a week's worth of shopping. I've taken them to run in for a few things, but this was different. I often take one with me to the store. The most I had previously taken was three, which was easy. I used one of those "car" shopping carts, put two in the car and one in the cart seat and it was easy. This time, though, I knew all four of them would have to.... walk. 
It actually wasn't a bad experience. I don't know if it's something I want to repeat any time soon, but at least I know it's doable. They (mostly) stayed with me. They helped put things in the cart. We only ran into a handful of cranky shoppers who didn't want to wait for our parade to pass by. For the most part, the other shoppers were friendly and accommodating. 
I ran into a minor crisis going back to the car. On the way into the store, we could all hold hands in the parking lot. On the way out I was suddenly burdened by a shopping cart full of groceries. I instantly regretted not accepting the bagger's offer to help me out to the car. I had each of the girls hold onto the cart and we slowly made our way to the car. Somehow we managed to make the journey without a single car driving by.
Like I said, I don't know if I'll do it again anytime soon, but at least I know it can be done!

December 21, 2010

Are You Ready?

I don't like leaving things to the last minute. Ever since my girls came along, my Christmas shopping takes place year-round. I start as soon as the January clearance sales begin and I finish in mid-November. Still, this year I feel like I'm missing something.
I can't put my finger on it. I've done a mental inventory of everything I've purchased. Everyone is accounted for. Sure, it still needs wrapped, but that I can leave for the last minute (mainly because wrapping is so tedious).
Maybe it's the lack of snow. By now, the area where I live has typically had at least one major snowfall. This year... nada. We will likely have a brown, crunchy Christmas instead of a white one. It makes for safe travels for those driving to see us, but also makes it hard to be in the right mood.
Either way, the big day is almost here so I guess I had better make sure everything is in order.

December 20, 2010

A Heartbreaking Conversation

In the last few days, one of my daughters has been, well, let's just say "grumpy." She fought with her sisters. She yelled at her sisters. She stomped around when things made her mad... and everything seemed to make her mad.
At first I chalked it up to a growth spurt. When they're going through a growth spurt, my girls tend to be tired and cranky. However, when this behavior continued over the course of several days, I found myself ready to snap. At one point, I took her to another room, away from her sisters and asked her what was wrong. She kept talking about a toy that she wanted to play with that one of her sisters had. Slowly, I started to realize what was happening. "What is it like being a quadruplet?" I asked her. Her response? She began to cry and said "It's hard. I always have to share everything." 
I can't begin to imagine what it is like to be a multiple. You do share everything. In our house not only do you share mom and dad, toys and clothes, you also share classmates and a bed room. We will likely never be able to afford a house in which all four of them can have their own room. We will likely never live in a school district which has four classes of the same grade level.
I really need to get back to our "one on one" time. I took the daughter in question to the grocery store with me the next day. She talked about how much fun it was to go with me. In the car I asked her if she could be a little happier since she had the chance to get out of the house by herself.... and ever since then she has been a much happier little girl.

December 15, 2010

A Fun Break

I'm tapped out when it comes to "kid" posts this week. I think I'm just too focused on work and Christmas to think of anything else. So, I thought I would have a little fun with today's post. While I was working out yesterday, I realized some people would likely be surprised by the music on my IPod. It's not really "mom" music, if there is such a thing. Keep in mind, it's an IPod shuffle, so you can't create any playlists. So, I keep this as my "workout" music and not my "everyday music." I'm putting it on shuffle right now (since that's my only option) and I'm going to tell you the first five songs that come on.
  • "Come on Eileen" Saving Ferris
I am a child of the '80s. I love '80s music and spent as many Thursday nights as I could in college at the local bar that had "80s night."  This cover of the song is fabulous because I can actually make out most of the lyrics!
  • "Handsome Man" Robbie Williams
I can't get enough of Robbie Williams. I don't know what it is. He's arrogant and it makes me laugh.
  • "You Don't Know What You Got" Joan Jett
Remember my earlier reference to being a child of the '80s? Joan Jett is a rock goddess. One of my first records (boy I'm old) was a 45 of "I Love Rock and Roll." I'm pretty sure this song was the "B side." (Wow, I seriously dated myself!)
  • "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" Cage the Elephant
Hubby put this on my IPod. I like it. He and I agree on some things (Jimmy Buffett, Barenaked Ladies), but typically our tastes in music aren't similar. This is one of the songs he put on that I didn't end up taking off.
  • "My First Kiss" 3oh!3
I've enjoyed 3oh!3 before their hit "Don't Trust Me" started getting mainstream air play. It kind of goes back to the whole Robbie Williams thing. When I'm working out I want a little "smart ass" to my music and this group definitely achieves that.

Hmmmm, well, this list isn't as surprising as I thought it would be. Kid Rock, Eminem and Lady Gaga just weren't destined to come up in my shuffle today. So, what are you listening to that you think would surprise me?

December 14, 2010

Same Rules, Different Reactions

I am always amazed by the different reactions my daughters have to the rules at school and the rules at home. The rules are basically the same: clean up your mess, be nice to your siblings (or classmates), use your inside voices, etc. Following the rules at school is a piece of cake. At home? Not so much.
At school, my daughters will start cleaning up the minute the lights flicker (that's the sign for clean up time). They will even help their classmates clean up. At home I am regularly greeted with choruses of "I'm too tired to clean" or "I didn't make that mess."
I feel like I'm fighting a losing a battle when it comes to chores. I tried the chore chart. The novelty wore off in a few months. I've threatened to throw away any toys that aren't picked up. The other day Hubby and I did an intense cleaning and purging of the toys. We separated. We organized. We threw away broken toys, toys beyond repair. We made a pile of toys to donate and toys to sell at my next moms of multiples sale. This might actually work. Every toy has a place and so far, has been put back in that place at the end of the day. Yet, I have a feeling a week from now I'll once again be complaining that I'm not receiving any help when it comes to cleaning up.

December 13, 2010

Board Games

My recent post about board games received some feedback, including questions about what games my daughters can comprehend. I thought I would share some of the games that seem to work for us.
Memory: They were able to start playing this around age 3. I rarely used the whole deck. I found our version at Pottery Barn. The cards are big (about the size of a coaster) and colorful.
Candy Land: This game took some time for them to understand. Still, it was a good way to work on recognizing colors.
Chutes and Ladders: We're still mastering this game. It's a little harder because they're still trying to figure out the concept of "sliding" and "climbing," so I haven't even started to tackle the lessons you learn along the way. (Good deeds get your closer to the end, naughty behavior means you have to slide back toward the beginning).
Yahtzee Jr.: We just started playing this game a few weeks ago. The scoring system is difficult for a five-year-old to comprehend. Unlike traditional Yahtzee, where each player strives to roll varied combinations, in this version once any player obtains a score no one else can receive that score. Since I don't make a big deal about scores anyway, this isn't a huge deal. They still enjoy trying to roll matching dice (should I be saying die? I can never remember) and counting the number of matches when they're done.
 We've attempted Operation, but it's still a little advanced for them. I wanted to buy them Perfection for Christmas, but Hubby vetoed that idea. He's right. They're probably not quite old enough for that game... and I'm not sure I'm ready to constantly hear the timer!

December 08, 2010

Oh, the Drama

Why does it seem as though women just can't get along? I know, I know, it seems so stereotypical. Unfortunately, my experiences in organizations made up primarily of women, make me wonder what's going on.
A friend of mine recently had a Facebook status post, an innocent question, which quickly blew up into a full scale war of words between some of her "friends." Later, my friend posted that her previous post had inspired her to block some of the offenders because she realized some of these "friends" were the same people attacking her on other message boards. Long story short, these message boards are support groups for moms of multiples.
It didn't surprise me that she has been attacked by other moms. I once was part of a moms forum for a national magazine. I posted an answer in response to a "how to" question and was met by other moms saying "I would NEVER do that." I let it roll off my back, rather than start an argument. I don't know these women personally, so what's the point in responding to criticism? Even within my local moms of multiples group I've seen clashes of personalities that resulted in hurt feelings and even some withdrawals of memberships. One mom said it gets worse as our kids get older and are involved in more activities.
It's not just "moms groups" that are full of drama. I work primarily with women and I'm not sure I've gone a day without listening to some type of drama. I try to stay away from it, do my job and go home. You could argue that you'll have this drama in any type of working environment, male or female, but consider this: Hubby works primarily with men and rarely comes home with tales of drama. Are men more likely to let things slide? 
I like the fact that everyone, male or female, has their own opinion. It's part of what makes this country so great. You don't have to agree with me... I don't have to agree with you... but do we really need to attack one another for not believing the same things?

December 07, 2010

The Phrase I'm Banning from My House

I used to think Not Me was the phrase I want extinguished from my daughters' vocabulary. Not Me is the child responsible for every naughty thing in my house. Who made this mess? Not Me. Who pulled this decoration off the tree? Not Me. You get the idea. But I say bring back that demon child and her naughty ways if it means I can ban a different phrase: But mom!
It never fails. Whenever I tell my daughters to do something, I am greeted with a resounding chorus of "But Mom!!!" You need to go to your room for a five minute time out. But mom! It's time to clean up. But mom! I could tell my daughters it is raining lollipops and they would still answer me with "But mom" before running to the window to see this once-in-a-lifetime event.
I finally reached my breaking point one day. I told my daughters I did not want to hear them "But momming" me. (If they were just a few years older, I'm sure that request would have been met with a chorus of giggles or snide comments). I might actually be making some progress. The other day one of the girls gave me her standard "But mom...." reply. I looked at her and said "Excuse me?" She thought about it for a minute, rolled her eyes and did what she was told. Hmmmm.... eye rolling. It's not a phrase, which means I could ban "But mom" (phrase) and eye rolling (gesture) for life.... right?!

December 06, 2010

Double the Birthday Fun

Yesterday was our first time attending a party for multiples. It was interesting to be on the "other side" of things for once. It gave me some insight on how parents of singletons must feel when they're invited to parties for my daughters.
The invitation arrived a few weeks ago. The party was for a girl in my daughters' preschool class and her twin sister, who is in another class. I have to admit, the invitation stressed me out. It was for both of the girls, but we only know one of the girls. Did the mom just not want to print separate invitations? Should I buy a present only for the one we know? For both? Auggghhhh! You think as a mom of quadruplets I wouldn't have to think about this. I should just know what to do. In my defense, when we've had birthday parties I have either made it clear that the party is for all four or I've instituted a "no gifts" policy. In the end I bought coordinating gifts for both of the girls. One received a Disney Princess tea set with some other Disney Princess gifts (a paint set and some puzzles), while the other sister received a Tinkerbell tea set with Tinkerbell gifts (paint set and puzzles). I'll be honest, I was quite proud of myself for being able to find the exact same things but different characters. Shopping for and coordinating gifts for twins is so much easier than doing it for quadruplets!
It was nice to be at a party where the "quad factor" wasn't a big deal. Everyone was so used to seeing twins (the birthday girls) that it didn't phase them to see another set of multiples running around. (I'm pretty sure many of the guests thought I brought two sets of twins). Besides, there was yet another set of multiples... a set of nearly-one-year-old triplets. (I just have to throw in a side note that the triplets were born via a surrogate... who just happened to be the mom of the twin birthday girls!!! I tried not to ask "annoying" questions since I know how that feels, but I was fascinated by it all. So know I also know now how strangers feel when they're asking me questions. Most of the time they likely feel how I did... fascinated and trying not to come across as intrusive).
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in the Second Annual Multiples and More Blog Awards. I won!!!! Thank you for your support. It truly means a lot to me to have faithful followers, whether you're friends, family or just enjoy my blog. I would also encourage you to check out the other two blogs nominated in my category, as they are both outstanding. It really was an honor to be nominated alongside Two Little Monkeys and Silly Precious Piggies.
Oh, and I've decided to give Twitter one more try. I deactivated my account awhile ago after it was hacked, so let's hope this time around goes a little smoother. You can follow me here. (Thanks MaryAnne for being my first follower!)

December 03, 2010

The Winner Is...

The winner of the Bryan Adams Bare Bones CD giveaway is:
entry #1 MaryAnne
Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated. Also, don't forget there's still time to visit Multiples and More and vote for your favorite blogs about multiples, including yours truly who is nominated for "Most Creative Blog." Have a great weekend!

December 01, 2010

Feeling the Love

Multiples and More is hosting its annual Blog Awards. I'm a regular visitor to the site and have found some great "blog friends" through the network as well. Imagine my shock when someone within the network nominated me for one of the awards. I'm up for "Most Creative Blog." Since I don't consider myself a crafty person, I'm hoping the person who nominated me thinks it's the topics of my posts that are creative. Either way, as cheesy as it sounds, I'm flattered to be nominated. When I started blogging, I figured only my family would take time to read what I  have to say. It's nice to know I've built a small following and made some cyberfriends along the way.
Here are some of my favorite blogs among the nominees:
  • Sadia of Double the Fun: Sadia is up for "Best Attitude." She has a wonderful attitude... along with some 'tude! Her husband is in the military. Her twin girls are 4-years-old. Sadia tells it like it is. She doesn't sugar-coat anything, but she also tends to be a "glass half-full" type of person. She just chooses to serve it with a side of sarcasm.
  • Christina of Our Life With Multiples: Christina is also nominated for "Best Attitude." I'm exhausted just reading her blog. She's always up to something with her twin girls, whether it's baking or moving into a new house.
  • Mandy of My Life as Described by Twin Trials and Triumphs: Mandy is nominated for "Best Writing." I couldn't agree more. She always has great stories to tell and, often times, cute pictures of her twin girls to go with the stories.
If you're interested in voting or visiting some of the nominees, click here. You can vote once a day (hint, hint) through Dec. 5.
(Don't forget: You still have time to enter my Bryan Adams Bare Bones giveaway!)