May 28, 2010

My HOA is About Ready to Get a Timeout

My HOA board is currently on the top of my "naughty list." If I could give the board members a time out, I would.... and they know it. The other day we received our monthly newsletter. (Really, it's more like a "whenever we choose to send it" newsletter, because we certainly don't receive one every month). Among the items in the newsletter was a snippet about the neighborhood pool. Due to "financial and membership needs" the pool will open at 11 am and close at 9pm during the week. Last year the pool opened at 9 am every day. I would take my girls to pool in the mid-morning hours when it was still somewhat cool out, the sun wasn't shining directly overhead and the teenagers weren't there swearing and making out. To me it is a drastic change to open the pool two hours later than normal... and the members weren't consulted. It's technically my pool. I pay my dues. My account is in good standing. I think I should have been consulted. I'm not the only parent who would go to the pool early in the day. A lot of moms (and a few dads, too), were there on a regular basis for a morning of swimming, a quick lunch on the grass, maybe a little more swimming and then, presumably, an afternoon of napping. I get that the board is trying to cut costs. The pool doesn't have a lifeguard but we do have a "monitor." This is typically a teenager paid to sit in the shade all day while listening to her IPod and checking IDs to make sure only residents use the pool. She's not there to enforce rules... she's mainly there to chat on her cell phone and make a quick buck. The shortened hours are to cut back on the money being spent to pay her. But is it really necessary to have a pool open until 9pm on weeknights? Couldn't there have been a compromise? Open at 10 am and close at 8 pm? I know working parents want to have pool time, too, but last summer I rarely saw anyone in the pool after 7 pm, regardless of what night it was.
I immediately fired off an email to the board. I pointed out that surely I'm not the only homeowner who can't attend monthly HOA meetings. Hubby's schedule just doesn't allow it. I just feel like we should have been notified sooner than two days before the pool opens that the hours are changing. One board member called me back right away.... AND HE AGREED WITH ME! According to him, though, he was the "odd man" out. He didn't want the hours changed at all, but no one would listen to him.
So, now I've got to start a "movement." I'm making it my mission to get all those other parents who like to use the pool in the morning to complain to the board. Maybe it will help. Maybe it won't. But at least I'll feel like I made my point clear.

May 27, 2010

Beezus and Ramona... The Book, Not the Movie

I'm not a huge fan of movies based on books. I am an avid reader and it seems the movies never live up to the book. The other day I saw a trailer for Beezus and Ramona. I'm torn. It looks cute... and if it reintroduces a new generation of readers to the Ramona books, I'm all for it.
Yesterday I went to Borders, because I had Borders Bucks (or whatever they're called) to use up by the end of the month. I bought a Sookie Stackhouse book for me and a Beezus and Ramona for my daughters. I wanted to buy a Ramona book and it just so happens Ramona is four in this book, so it seemed the perfect way to introduce my girls to her. As part of our nighttime routine, each of my daughters pick a book and we read them on the "book couch" before heading upstairs. We're going to change things a little. Now we're going to settle on the couch and read a chapter of Beezus and Ramona before bed. This, of course, means, that as soon as we finish the book I'm going to be expected to produce the next book in the series. I'm OK with that. I have been waiting to introduce my daughters to Ramona and I hope they like her as much as I do.
(I suppose I should put one of those disclaimers in here stating NO ONE paid me, compensated me or asked me to write this post. I just like the Ramona books. Period.)

May 25, 2010

The Laundry Quandry

The split to two rooms has been a fairly smooth transition... except on laundry days. All four of the girls put their clothes in one laundry basket, which is fine. Unfortunately, when it's time to fold the clothes, I have a hard time remembering which outfit belongs to which girl. I know, I know... out of all the stress in my life, this isn't exactly high on the list. Still, it makes things tricky.
Each of the girls have certain articles of clothing that is "theirs." It may be Hello Kitty socks one received as a reward for landing on the prize spot of the chore chart or a Minnie Mouse shirt Santa gave another for Christmas. If those clothes end up in the wrong room and someone other than the owner wears those items... there are going to be plenty of tears. It's not that my daughters don't share, it's just that they take ownership of their things. I don't think that's a bad trait. When you're expected to share nearly everything you own with three other siblings, it's nice to have a few things that are just yours.
So on laundry day I separate everything into piles... underwear, socks, pants, shirts, etc. Then I have to go through the piles to figure out if there are any items that belong to a specific girl so I can make sure it ends up in the right room. I've made some mistakes, but I have four girls who are right there, ready to correct me!

May 23, 2010

Separation Anxiety

My daughters have never had major issues being away from me. Sure, from time to time they cry or act weepy, but all in all, they've never had problems. On their first day of preschool they walked into the room and never gave me a second glance. Unfortunately, something has happened to change all of that.
It started a few weeks ago. My girls were downstairs and I went upstairs to print something. I was in our office/guest room/catch-all room when I heard someone screaming at the top of her lungs. I could tell it was Roo and she sounded terrified. I ran from the room and she was standing on the steps, screaming and choking on her tears. "What happened?" I asked. "I didn't know where you were," she managed to choke out. There was nothing wrong, she was just upset that she couldn't see me. The rest of the day I made sure to tell her if I needed to go to another part of the house.
Then about a week ago we went to a picnic. When it was time to leave, the girls discovered they had left their party favors in the shelter. After everyone was buckled in the car, I went back to the shelter to grab the goods. I told them where I was going and they could see me the entire time. I was gone less than two minutes. I returned to the car to find Roo screaming and crying. "You should have been in the car" she screamed at me. A few days ago we were getting ready to go to the zoo. After everyone was buckled in the car I told them I needed to run inside to use the bathroom. Hubby was standing almost right outside Roo's window, but she screamed the entire time I was gone. (And in case you're wondering, no I don't leave them in the car by themselves for long periods of time... nor do I leave them in the car in a store parking lot). All weekend she has thrown a fit if I leave the room. I've made it a point to say things such as "I'm going upstairs to put this load of laundry away, I'll be back in a few minutes." She has asked if she can sit on her bed while I put away laundry because she doesn't want to be downstairs "by herself." On Saturday she didn't want me to go the grocery store. I asked her to come with me, thinking some mother-daughter one-on-one time was in order. Nope. She didn't want to go and she didn't want me to go, either. Keep in mind that during most of these experiences, Hubby is around. When he asks her why she is crying, she'll say "I want Mommy... I don't want to be by myself." She could care less if he's around. She wants me and only me. The day of the grocery store meltdown, I ended up taking her sisters with me and she stayed home to bond with Hubby. They played games, they played with Legos, they ate chocolate. They had a blast. There were no tears shed over the fact that I was gone. But once I came home, the tears started again... it has gotten to the point that I can't go to the bathroom without her crying.
Interestingly enough, bed time is not a source of tears. A few nights last week the girls stayed up waaaaaaay past their bed time because we had company. Roo requested to leave her bedroom door open and I left the hallway light on for maybe 10 minutes. She was fine with that, although she said she was "scared of the dark." (Never an issue, but it doesn't seem to be a huge issue now, either).
Yesterday Hubby and I got some clues as to what's going on. Roo says that at some point in time someone (neither one of us) was watching a "scary show on TV with bats and skeletons." The person in question denies watching anything unsuitable for preschoolers... so I'm back to square one. I'm just hoping I can get to the bottom of this and get my happy little girl back.

May 19, 2010

Why Octomom and I Will Never Be Friends

I'm extremely angry with "Octomom" Nadya Suleman right now. Not that she cares... she's apparently willing to give up her dignity for a paycheck. Have you heard about her campaign with Peta? Octomom is willing to put a sign in her yard that says this:
What in the world is this woman thinking? To me, she's selling out. She's telling people it's OK to refer to higher order multiples as "litters." It's offensive... at least to me.
I know Octomom is a controversial topic. As I've said before, I don't agree with the doctor who allowed her to transfer eight embryos, nor can I imagine myself with six children and trying to have one more, let alone eight. But I'm not going to go down that road in this blog again. What I will say is I feel this woman just slapped every mother of multiples in the face by agreeing to do this... all for $5,000 and a month's supply of veggie burgers.
Look, I am all for spaying and neutering your pets. All of my cats, much to their dismay, are neutered. I've volunteered in animal shelters and have seen first hand what happens to unwanted pets. But to compare a litter of animals to higher order multiples? My blood is boiling.
Just when I thought I would never write another blog about Octomom... here she is, making headlines again.

May 18, 2010

End of School Blues

Today is the last day of preschool. Tomorrow we begin summer break. This is a good thing because our calendar will clear up. This is a bad thing because.... our calendar will clear up.
My daughters are under the impression that they should be entertained every waking minute. They don't believe in down time. They don't believe in resting. They don't believe in naps. They believe in going, going, going until you drop.
We have a zoo membership and I plan to put it to good use this summer. I've actually managed one solo trip with them and it went well. They listened. They stayed with me. When it was time to go no one threw a fit. They've figured out that we have a "special ticket" which allows us to go to the zoo any time we want, so we don't have to see every single animal in one trip.
We also are fortunate enough to have a neighborhood pool. I have decided to take it upon myself to teach them how to swim. I know... I'm crazy. I really wanted to enroll them in swim lessons. Unfortunately, the weekday lessons are only offered in the evenings, which isn't doable for us. The weekend lessons are only offered in the mornings, when I have to work. I took every level of swim class my local pool offered growing up and I passed a Red Cross lifeguard class, so I think (I hope) I'm up for the challenge of teaching them how to swim. I just want them to get the basics this summer and this seems like the only way it's going to happen.
Remember when I said our calendar was going to clear up when school ended? I guess I was wrong!

May 16, 2010

What's Wrong With Her?

One of my daughters wears a leg brace. She's had low muscle tone since birth and hyper-extends one of her legs. The brace stops the hyper-extending and has helped her figure out balance and coordination. We don't treat her any differently than we treat her sisters. She's expected to do the same things they do. Sure, sometimes we have to make modifications, but most of the time I forget she's "different"... mainly because she's not. She's smart as a whip and has an adult-like grasp of humor. The jokes that go over her sisters' heads are things she immediately laughs at. She's friendly and outgoing.
Warmer weather always stresses me out when it comes to her. In the fall and winter her brace is hidden under her pants. But once the warm weather rolls around, people want to know "What's wrong with her?" I never know what to say. Is it polite to say "None of your business"? Just yesterday, while at the park, someone said to her "Oh no, what did you do?" Since we tend to forget she even wears the brace, I thought the concerned party was talking about a scrape on her knee. "Oh, she fell," I said. "Oh my goodness... did she break her leg?" WHAT??? Then I realized she was inquiring about the brace. "No, she's always worn that" I said, and left it at that.
She's getting to an age where she knows people are talking about her. In our house, it has never been a big deal. She wears the brace because it helps her walk better. Her sisters have never questioned it. She has never really questioned it. But these days when others, adults and children, question it, I see something flash in her eyes... yet I can't put my finger on it... shame? disappointment? confusion?
The good news is she may be out of the brace by the end of the summer. She's sooooo close to not needing it. When people question why she wears the brace, I would want to give them a long list of reasons of why she won't be wearing the brace much longer... She has worked hard to get where she is. Some day, when she has a better understanding of life, I want to be able to tell her how proud I am that she never gives up, that she tries things over and over, that she may have to do things in different ways than her sisters, but that she still fights to do things by herself. What's wrong with her? Not a damn thing.

May 14, 2010

A Wrap Up of Our Week

It has been a crazy week. Fortunately, things are looking up. Sue Sue seems to be recovering from her virus. She still has a slight cough, but is eating again! Sue Sue and Cakes seem to be done with this whole Pink Eye nonsense, too, which is a relief. Pink Eye is gross. I felt like all I did was wipe eyes and wash my hands. How I managed to keep everyone else from getting it is beyond me.
My test scoring job has kept me busy. I forgot what it's like to be chained to a desk for long periods of time, staring at a computer. I'm not complaining, though. I feel like I'm finally putting my college degree to use again!
In all this craziness I still managed to complete this week's "Couch to 5K" workouts, so I feel pretty good about myself. I'm not a runner and I'm not sure I ever will be, but so far I'm able to do this program.
A big thank you to everyone who voted for my friend in the Mom Idol contest... SHE WON!!!
Have a great weekend! Here's hoping next week bring a lot less excitement to my life.

May 11, 2010

The Curve Balls Life Throws Us

I should know better than to think a busy week will ever go as planned. All weekend long I thought Sue Sue and Cakes were having major allergy issues. Hubby and I have been having allergy problems lately, so it didn't concern me when Sue Sue and Cakes started sneezing a lot and coughing and had runny noses and goop coming out of their eyes.
Then I woke up yesterday and realized what a fool I had been. I knew the second I looked at Cakes... Pink Eye. Then Sue Sue started throwing up... which has nothing to do with Pink Eye, but I'll get to that in a minute. I called the pediatrician's office and the nurse immediately faxed a prescription to the pharmacy for Cakes. When we started discussing Sue Sue's symptoms, she said the doctor needed to see her.
So instead of going to work, I took Sue Sue to the pediatrician. She was severely dehydrated. I already knew she was having hydration issues. On Sunday she ate an OK lunch, but never ate again after that. I had to force water in her. How she became so dehydrated between lunch Sunday and our Monday morning appointment is beyond me. Even the doctor was surprised... and said if she couldn't keep down a popsicle in his office then he was sending us straight to the ER for IV fluids. Fortunately, she kept down the popsicle. She's slowly starting to be herself again.
Did I mention she also has Pink Eye? There is a never a dull moment in our house. I am now frantically washing and sterilizing the house to keep everyone else healthy.
In the middle of all this, I started a new job on top of my part-time retail gig. I'm now scoring tests for Pearson. Somehow, in all this madness, I actually managed to get my work done yesterday. (I did it after everyone was in bed, which had been my plan all along).
Sue Sue and Cakes are no longer contagious so here's hoping the other two managed to avoid the dreaded Pink Eye!

May 09, 2010

Getting Back to Me

It's easy to put everyone ahead of yourself, especially when you're a mom. After I'm done juggling work, preschool, appointments and the day-to-day business of raising quadruplets, I'm exhausted. I haven't been taking care of myself, either. For awhile, I was really good about getting some exercise. I felt good. Then I missed a workout... and then a few more... and suddenly, I've been feeling UGH.
So, this Mother's Day, I made a promise to myself. I'm going to do a better job of taking care of myself. I'm going to exercise more. I'm going to eat better... and when I don't, I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
To this end, I've begun the Couch to 5K program. Yesterday was my first workout. It was manageable and I felt like I accomplished something. I haven't run in years. The goal of the program is to be able to run a 5K (or three miles) at the end of eight weeks. It's a combination of jogging and walking and it's suggested you only do it three times a week. I can commit to that. Having one workout under my belt, I already feel good and I'm ready for the next one. Wish me luck.

Lesson Learned

I learned something with my most recent giveaway... not many Buried in Laundry readers are Michael Bolton fans. Oh well. The winner of the Michael Bolton CD giveaway is Marci J. Congratulations!!!
Be sure to check back for more giveaways and/or reviews. I'll have a fun review coming soon for CSN Stores. With more than 200 sites, you'll find everything you could want, from track lighting to toys to cooking utensils. I'm excited to take part in this opportunity.
Also, a big HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you moms out there.

May 06, 2010

Vote for a Great Triplet Mom

A friend of mine needs your help. Electrolux has teamed up with American Idol to find a "Mom Idol." The finalists have been chosen and Kim Nelson is among them. Kim is a mom of triplet boys and a little girl. She is active in my local moms of multiples group and is just one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. At club events, she's always there with a smile on her face, making sure everyone is having a good time. She's also active in her church as well as her childrens' school events. Did I mention she's doing this alone? Two years ago, Kim's husband died in a car accident. If she's chosen as the "Mom Idol," Kim will win a trip for two to the American Idol finale, a $5,000 donation to the charity of her choice, a VIP makeover and (drum roll please) a suite of Electrolux appliances. I really want Kim to win. Please click here to vote. When you vote you can also register to win an Electrolux appliance. You can vote daily through May 13, 2010.
***And don't forget, you still have time to enter my Michael Bolton CD giveaway.

May 05, 2010

Giveaway: Michael Bolton's "One World, One Love" CD

When I hear the name Michael Bolton, I automatically think of the movie Office Space. I can't help it. Poor Michael Bolton is the butt of a lot of jokes in that movie.. but it's a good flick. So when I was asked to review a complimentary copy of Bolton's latest CD, One World, One Love, I didn't know what to expect. (The CD was provided to me by Universal because I am a member of Music Moms).
Michael Bolton has definitely made an effort to change with the times. Gone is the hair. The cover of his new CD shows a pretty attractive guy... I don't remember him looking like that. His music, in my opinion, is changing, too. Sure, he still sings of love and heartbreak, but it's not all power ballads. It's a fairly upbeat play list.
I was most excited to hear his collaboration with Lady Gaga. Michael Bolton and Lady Gaga? Not exactly two artists I would think of pairing together. They co-wrote "Murder My Heart" and Gaga provides back up on the track, too. I like it. It's a love song, but a different spin on romance than you would expect Bolton to take.
Most of the songs on the disc are co-written by Bolton. I have to admit, though, it's two covers that I really enjoy. Bolton tackles Terence Trent D'Arby's hit "Sign Your Name." When I heard the beginning of the song, I knew that I knew the song, but I couldn't put my finger on it until the chorus. He definitely gives it his own flavor. Bolton also covers Van Morrison's "Crazy Love," one of my favorite songs ever, and I wasn't disappointed.
I'm not a fan of the entire disc. Some of the songs seem interchangeable. Overall, though, it's quite enjoyable.
Universal and Music Moms want a lucky Buried in Laundry reader to have their own copy of One World, One Love.
To enter, leave me a comment telling me your favorite love song. You must provide a valid email address.
For additional entries: (Please leave a separate comment for each entry)
  • Become a follower of Buried in Laundry (or indicate if you already follow)
  • Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post
The giveaway is open to U.S. addresses. The deadline to enter is 8 a.m. MST May 9, 2010. The winner will be chosen by The winner will have 48 hours after notification to provide me with a mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.
Want to check out some of the songs? Michael Bolton will be appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 7... where I'm hoping he'll sing something off his new disc.

May 04, 2010


All winter long I anxiously await for the arrival of spring. Snow is just not my thing. I want to be able to sit outside, go for a walk or send my girls into the backyard to burn off some of their preschooler energy. I always forget that spring means seasonal allergies.
I am a long-time allergy sufferer. I've been tested and the tests always show I'm allergic to dust and mold. I still say the tests are wrong because whenever the TV weather reports talk about high tree pollen, I'm miserable. Regardless, I'm suffering and so are the girls.
It has been incredibly windy here lately. How do you tell four 4-year-olds that even though the sun is out, they can't go outside? You don't. We take walks around the neighborhood. We decorate the driveway with sidewalk chalk. We run around the backyard chasing bubbles (the wind is good for that, at least!). Then at the end of the day, we are all congested, sneezing and some of the girls have runny noses and eyes.
I've brought it up with our pediatrician. She thinks they're too young to be tested for allergies. I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to have to push the issue a little more. So far over-the-counter remedies help... or at least help them sleep. But I feel like I'm just treating the symptoms. I would much rather find out what specific allergies they have and work on finding a better solution.
So, anyone out there have children who suffer from seasonal allergies? When did you have them tested? What course of action have you taken?

May 03, 2010

Someone Needs Their Mouth Washed With Soap

In the last two weeks, my daughters have, shall we say, expanded their vocabulary. It all started one day when I was at work. Hubby was folding laundry and Roo came around the corner to tell him Tortilla had called her "the b word"... except she didn't say "b word," she said the actual word. Hubby, to his credit, did not freak out. Instead he explained to the girls that some words are naughty and we should never use them. When I came home and heard the story, I had a similar conversation with Tortilla. She claimed to have learned the word at school when a classmate called her that word. So, I had a brief conversation with the teacher because I just wanted her to know a bad word might be circulating the classroom. I didn't raise a stink, I just told her the word had been used and Tortilla said she learned it at school. The teacher wasn't surprised and I got the impression that she's had similar issues with this particular student. I haven't heard the word used since that day, so I'm pretty sure it has been forgotten.
Then on Saturday I was enjoying a nice leisurely afternoon in the backyard with the girls. One of our neighbors came out to yell at his dog. "Get the F over here," he shouted, except he didn't say F, he dropped the actual F Bomb. "Hey!" I admonished... not really sure what to say after that. He seemed startled, looked at me, then looked at the girls and went back inside. I don't know him that well. Part of me wants to go knock on his door and unleash my own string of F Bombs, but we've never had an issue with him before so I'm hoping it was just a momentary lapse. The girls didn't seem to notice any of the words he was using, so I'm hoping to NOT hear any F Bombs dropped in my house anytime soon.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not opposed to swearing... if that makes any sense. It doesn't offend me in movies. I've been known to utter a blue streak when I'm angry... but NEVER in front of my kids. When I let them watch Dr. Doolittle (it might have been the second one, I don't remember) I turned it off as soon as one of the characters said "damn." Not appropriate for kids! When the girls asked me why I turned it off, I explained to them that there were naughty words in the movie. They still talk about how we can't watch that movie because of the naughty words.
I know my daughters are going to hear these words. I know eventually they are going to say them... and I've got my bar of soap nearby for when that happens... although I may have to lend the soap to my neighbor if he keeps up this behavior.