May 31, 2011

You Bowl Me Over

Every time I think about bowling, I start singing "Score Tonight" from Grease 2. Call it a cheesy movie, heck, even a terrible movie, but I loved it. So last week, I was on singing overdrive because the girls and I went bowling.
I signed up for a work-related bowling function and let the girls tag along. It turned out they were allowed to bowl with the group, too, much to their delight. All I can say is thank goodness for "bumpers." They would have bowled endless gutter balls without them. The lightest ball I could find for them was still somewhat heavy, so most of their bowling consisted of "granny rolls" through their legs. By the end, though, Tortilla was running toward the line and launching the ball. I could embarrass myself by saying Tortilla's score for her second game tied my score for my first game. Instead, I have been saying "Wow! She bowled such a great game that she tied my score!" 
It's not easy to be outbowled by a five-year-old. The score monitor tells you how fast the balls are going. Most of the time, my girls got their bowling balls to go about two to three miles an hour!
I didn't take pictures. I wanted to, but I was too busy chasing stray bowling balls that the girls would occasionally drop... or helping them with their "form" to speed up the process.
We definitely had a lot of fun. They were so excited to tell Hubby all about their adventure. Unfortunately, it's a fairly expensive form of entertainment, once you factor in lane fees and shoe rental fees. I found some local alleys that offer "free" bowling for kids during the summer, but you still have to pay for shoe rental, which would end up costing us about $25 each time. Still, I think this could be a fun "treat" for the girls every now and then.

May 25, 2011

Pardon My Rant

I am so tired of rain! In the last two weeks I think we have had two days of sunshine. Two. TWO!!! Yes, we need rain. Our sprinkler system has been on the fritz and finally was fully repaired on Saturday. This rain helped us avoid an HOA fine for yellow grass. I appreciate the rain, but I need some sun! We're all cranky. We're all experiencing cabin fever. The second I spot the sun, I force my girls to go outside. The other day, I could tell rain was moving in, so I made them go outside for an hour. They came in about 10 minutes before the storm started. I know it's not technically summer, but it's only 47 here today. I need sun.  I need warm weather!!!
(Thank you to those of you who continue to vote for Buried in Laundry to be included in the Top 25 Parents With Multiples List by Circle of Moms. You can vote once every 24 hours through May 30!)

May 23, 2011

More Fun with Milk Jugs

Ever since Hubby's milk jug game was a hit, we've been saving up jugs. I wanted to do our own version of Bozo's Grand Prize Game. (Did I date myself by admitting I know what that is?!) Unfortunately, I forgot to tell Hubby my plans. Yesterday I ran a few errands and came home to this:
 Whatever keeps them entertained!
(Thank you to those of you who have been voting for Buried in Laundry to be on the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. You can continue to vote once every 24 hours through May 30).

May 20, 2011

I Guess I'm Just a Mean Mom

In the last ten days we have had very little sunshine. We have had lots of rain, along with some hail and tornado warnings. It has been chilly and overcast. We  have been cooped up in the house. 
Today there is finally a break. The temperatures are mild, though nowhere near as warm as they should be for May. The sun is making a debut. The grass and our swing set is wet, but I told my girls to put on their shoes and a jacket because they need to go outside for some fresh air. One of my daughters dissolved in tears. She did not want to go outside. Too bad. I told her she had to stay outside for at least 10 minutes. It has been 20 and she shows no signs of wanting to come in! Yep. I'm a big meanie.
(Don't forget to keep voting for Buried in Laundry for the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. You can vote once every 24 hours. Thanks for your support!)

May 17, 2011

Fun With Milk Jugs

We go through approximately four gallons of milk a week. I try to save juice as a treat and water is for "in between meals" (which they can get for themselves from our fridge dispenser), so milk is something we drink a lot of. The jugs normally go straight to the recycling bin... until Hubby came up with a fun game.
He started saving milk jugs and told our girls it was for "a game." What's the game? Well, he wouldn't tell them until he had four empty (and clean) jugs. It didn't take them long to reach that goal. 
When the time came, Hubby cut the top half off the jugs and turned them into "ball catchers."
 Don't mind her outfit. It was a rainy, gloomy, I'm-not-going-out-there kind of day, so they all chose to wear gymnastics outfits. Which also explains why we tested out the game inside.
The girls initially wanted to use their Zoobles to play the game. They received these toys when then went to McDonald's with my in-laws during our recent date night. It quickly became clear that while Zoobles are round, unless you want to break them you really shouldn't treat them like a ball. Fortunately, we own "Gator Golf," so we used the balls from that game to test out our new milk jug game.
Chucking balls from milk jugs inside isn't really a good idea. We found this out when Sue Sue launched hers, but instead of going to one of her sisters to catch, it went flying backward over her head and into a wall.
 (A little side note: while I try not to show my daughters' full identities in pictures, that wasn't what happened here. Call this an "action shot." I had a cute picture all framed in the lens of her smiling... and then she moved and the battery died. Oh well. You get the idea).
Hubby quickly came up with a modified version. Instead of throwing the ball, they all sat on the floor and rolled it to one another, catching it in their milk jugs. This game went on, and on, and on... Let's just say there were protests when I tried to claim two girls for a shower.
Fortunately, yesterday was a sunny day, so the girls headed outside and put the game to good use. I've already Googled other games we can make with all the milk jugs we go through!
(Thank you to those of you who have been voting for Buried in Laundry for the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. So far I'm hanging on in the top 25! You can vote once every 24 hours through May 30. Thank you for your support!)

May 16, 2011

Hire a Sitter or Stay Home

On Saturday, Hubby and I managed to get out of the house for a rare date night. For the first time in nearly two years we saw a movie in a movie theater!! I found an on-line deal and snagged our tickets for just $4.50 each (normally $10 each). 
On the way into the theater, I joked that we somehow managed to pick the only R rated movie in the facility (Bridesmaids), and thus would be able to enjoy our movie without a bunch of chatty teens. As the lights dimmed and the opening scene of the movie began, a baby started crying. The baby was in the audience, not the movie. Throughout the movie, the mom or dad would either stand up and bop around the aisle with the baby or venture out into the hall. I have to admit, I was a bit annoyed. Hire a sitter or stay home. I don't buy into "Oh, my baby can sleep through anything." Have you been to a movie lately? They're loud. They're usually no less than two hours when you factor in previews. It's pretty unrealistic to expect a baby to be quiet during the entire thing. Still on the side of the parents? I bet you wouldn't feel that way if they had rolled in with twins, triplets or quadruplets. But one baby is OK, right? No.
I swear I'm not one of "those people"... the kind who roll their eyes whenever a child acts up in public. I'm a mom. I get it. Babies, kids, teens... they all have their moments. But if I'm paying to go to a movie with a rating that is designed to keep anyone under the age of 18 from being in there, I don't expect to be confronted with a crying baby. So the "poor parents" just needed to get out of the house? Suck it up. Hubby and I are lucky to get to a movie once a year because of the cost associated with hiring a sitter. Or go to a movie where the moviegoers expect to be surrounded by children. Even before having children, I knew if I went to a movie targeted toward children/families, I was bound to encounter whispering, restless kids. (I also think the program that designates "baby nights" at theaters is genius. At least you know you'll be surrounded by babies on those nights).
Don't get me started on the concept of an R movie. Bridesmaids is filled with hilariously raunchy, bawdy comedy. While the infant in question had no concept of the comedy involved, I just wonder how many f-bombs registered in his/her ears. Speaking of inappropriate scenes, it didn't help that there were at least two kids in the audience. They were there with their parents and appeared to be about 12 and 7. Their parents sat on the opposite side of the theater and the kids sat in our row. The oldest one repeatedly put his feet on the seat next to them, then put his feet down and let the seat slam, jarring the entire aisle. Plus he and his brother constantly got up for bathroom breaks or to just wander around. Yes, that can happen in any movie, but I'm still wondering why the parents let those kids watch such an inappropriate movie for children. You can argue that an R rating simply means anyone underage must be accompanied by a parent. Ratings exist for a reason. If you want to take the whole family to a movie, opt for something more family-friendly. There were plenty of those choices on Saturday.
Let me reiterate, I'm not the type of person who typically gets annoyed with children misbehaving or even just acting like kid out in public. After the movie we stopped for dinner at a family restaurant. There were lots of kids there being loud. It didn't phase me. If I wanted peace and quiet, I would have gone to an "upscale" restaurant. I don't expect a quiet meal at a family restaurant, but I do expect age-appropriate movie goers in an R rated movie.
****On a lighter note, thank you to those of you who have been voting for Buried in Laundry to be included in the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. Please continue to vote once every 24 hours through May 30. Thank you!!

May 11, 2011

What Will We Do With Ourselves?!

Not counting today, there are just three, yes three days left of preschool! My daughters are excited because this means they will soon be kindergarteners. They seem to think the minute preschool is over, they will head to the "big building" for kindergarten. If only it were that simple. 
I never realize how much I appreciate the downtime provided by school, until my daughters are on a break. I enjoy spending time with them, but things get a lot more hectic when they're not in school. For instance, beginning in June Sue Sue will resume her weekly physical therapy sessions. She was discharged from year 'round therapy, but we like to find areas to focus on during the summer to build her muscle strength. This means on Mondays we'll spend the morning getting all of us there by 10 am, (I'm guessing this means I will not shower before the sessions), keeping the other three entertained during the session, rush home for lunch and then spend the afternoon trying to get in the mindset to go to work. I'm also working to resume our swim lessons with our fantastically wonderful swim instructor. (All winter long my daughters wanted to know why they couldn't go swimming. Ummm... because our neighborhood pool is outside?!)
We have a membership to our local zoo. This comes in handy when we're looking for something to do, but don't have any creative ideas. The zoo is fairly close, so we can go and stay as long or as little as we like. I also found a great deal on a membership to our local butterfly pavilion ($24!! It's normally $65. We saved money on our very first visit since admission without a membership is more than $24 for the six of us). I'm hoping we can swing over there on rainy days.
We live near two local libraries. The one closest to us is less than a year old. It's beautiful. Unfortunately, the free classes for kids fill up fast. The other library is older and has a smaller selection of kid's books, but the classes are easier to get into. (It still seems strange to me that you have to register for story time. What happened to just showing up and joining in the fun?)
We are fortunate to live near numerous subdivisions, all with their own playgrounds. We rotate through the parks so we don't become "bored." (That's their favorite word right now).
I'm actually looking forward to the summer. Yes, we will be busy, but hopefully we'll embark on some great adventures.
**Don't forget, Buried in Laundry is nominated to be on the Top 25 Parents with Multiples List by Circle of Moms. You can vote once every 24 hours through May 30. Please take a moment to visit the list of nominees and vote for Buried in Laundry. Thanks!

May 10, 2011

The Problem With Shorts

The last few days have been nice and warm here. We're breaking out the summer clothes and I'm thankful there are only a few days before the end of school. (Side note: we start mid-August and get out in mid-May). Why am I glad school is almost over? Because apparently shorts for 5-year-olds might as well be Daisy Dukes.
I ended up convincing my daughters that it was chilly this morning and that they had to wear pants to school. Why? Because I couldn't find any shorts I deemed "school-appropriate." It's not that my daughters have a suggestive or inappropriate wardrobe. It's just that when you factor in dress codes, I just don't know if their shorts will make the grade. I don't even know if the administration would send home preschoolers for having "short shorts." I decided not to risk it. Their shorts are cute, but most likely too far above the knee to be considered something they should wear to school.
Take a look at your local retail store. From the "girl" section to the "junior department," most of the shorts are pretty short. While working at my retail job recently, I had a dad ask me "So where are the shorts that I can buy for my daughter?" I think we finally found some bermudas.
Four days left of school. I think I can find enough in their closets to get by. Fortunately, tomorrow is "Pajama Day" at school, so I don't have to worry about shorts! 
****Buried in Laundry has been nominated for the Top 25 Parents with Multiples list by Circle of Moms. Please click the Circle of Moms badge on the left side of this page to vote for Buried in Laundry. THANKS!

May 09, 2011

Our Mother's Day Projects

Mother's Day was a gorgeous, if not sweltering hot, day here, so we took advantage of the weather to do some yard work. It was actually a lot of fun. One of our hedges in front of the house died, so the six of us went to a local nursery to find a replacement. It took Hubby a long time to dig up the dead one, but this was the final result (We ended up putting in three hedges. The one on the left has been here since we moved in)
Ignore the dead grass near the rocks. We had a ruptured line in our sprinkler system, which was fixed on Saturday. Now the company has to come back this afternoon to complete the sprinkler activation.
While Hubby battled the bushes, the girls and I worked on planting flowers.
I let each of them chose flowers at Home Depot and they were quite particular about where the flowers should be placed in the planter. (Note to everyone: Home Depot is NOT the place you want to be on Mother's Day if you don't like crowds. I had no idea how many moms con their families into doing yard work by pulling the "Mother's Day card"). Despite the crowd, I think we're going to make this a Mother's Day tradition. It was a lot of fun watching my girls choose their flowers. They are quite proud of their work and made me water the flowers before school this morning. Nothing like adding more work to the morning routine.
By the end of the day yesterday, we were all covered in sunscreen, dirt, sweat and popsicles. I think I threw the girls in the shower around 4pm just to help them cool down.
All in all, it was a great day. Unfortunately, in the middle of all the yard work, we discovered this:
 Don't let the green in this picture fool you. That's from our blooming, still-alive tree. The empty branches are from our other tree, which apparently died. Seriously?! Removing a hedge is one thing. A tree? I've been making calls to figure out who will remove this tree without charging me way too much. As part of our HOA covenants, that particular tree has to be replaced. Our yard work is never done!

May 04, 2011

I Definitely Have Girls

While my daughters aren't always pink-loving, doll-playing, princess worshiping girls (who am I kidding? They love those things!), they are certainly girls to the core. I used to be able to buy them shorts in the boy's department. Why would I do that? Because for whatever reason, denim boy shorts tend to be cheaper than denim girl shorts. Unfortunately, last summer there were two pairs of shorts my girls refused to wear because they looked like "boy shorts." OK, they were boy shorts, but to me they simply looked like cute denim shorts.
My stepmom used to be able to buy second-hand shoes for any gender and my girls would wear them. (Yes, I've heard that you shouldn't wear second-hand shoes, but toddler shoes are usually in pristine condition, and until you have to find footwear for four kids and not break the bank, you can't judge). Sometime last year, my daughters refused to wear any dark colored shoe. I truly think I could have bought them dark blue shoes from the girl's department and they still would have refused. In their mind, shoes need to be pink and/or light up. Any dark shoes must have a character on them. The good news is since they wouldn't wear the boy tennis shoes, I managed to sell them all at the last sale for my moms of multiples club.
I used to be able to send my daughters to school in jeans that had holes in the knees. There are just two weeks left of school. I'm not buying new jeans until the new school year starts. Some of their jeans have acquired holes in the knees. This leads to tears, yes, tears from the sister chosen to wear the "holey" jeans. (I tried to avoid the tears this morning, by letting one of them wear leggings instead. That was a whole new ball of drama. Instead of one crier, I had three... the ones not wearing leggings). When my daughters are teens and expect me to throw down $55 (or more) for pre-ripped jeans, I will remind them of their aversion to holey jeans in their youth.
Yes, my daughters are only 5 and they already have a clear sense of what is fashionable and what is not. I really have  my work cut out for me in the years to come!

May 03, 2011

Rethinking the News

As a former TV news anchor (I still think of myself as a journalist, even though I'm not currently working in that industry), I am something of a news junkie. I check the local news websites daily and try to catch some of the local or national news each day. I've come to realize in the last few weeks how difficult it is to watch the news when impressionable children are around.
I'm not going to write a post about how "bad" the news is. Bad things happen in the world and they need to be reported. As a former reporter, I can tell you we would much rather be assigned the fun, uplifting stories. Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen.
I used to constantly flip through various local channels. I enjoy seeing how different stations cover the same stories. It's the reporter in me. I want to critique their coverage, see who "owned" the story. I used to hit the "previous channel" button and go back and forth between two stations. Now when I hit the "previous channel" button, I'm frantically trying to go to Sprout or some other channel that won't have my daughters asking too many questions.
It all started with the recent tornadoes. Hubby and I were watching the news and seeing the devastation. One of the girls asked Hubby a question about tornadoes. I can't remember the exact question, but it led us to explain the tornado sirens in our neighborhood and why we sometimes go to the basement. The next day was a gloomy, overcast day. Tortilla wanted to know if we should go to the basement to hide from the tornadoes. I tried to explain that tornadoes are rare in this area (sort of) and that mommy and daddy will always watch for bad weather. I can't imagine what it must have been like for her, at age 5, to sit there watching the news and see all the homes that were destroyed. Clearly it stuck with her.
The past few days, I've made it a point to not watch the news when my girls are in the room. I'm not ready to explain Osama Bin Laden or Sept. 11 to them. Yes, it's something they need to know about. They've seen coverage of 9/11 memorials and I've talked about how a "very sad thing" happened that day. I just don't know if 5-year-olds are ready for the entire story. Maybe I'm wrong.
Still, the news has provided us some levity in the last week. My daughters delighted in seeing "the princess get married." During the kisses, though, all four of them squealed "ewwwwww!"
I'm still a news junkie, just not as addicted as I once was. For now, I'll have to monitor what I watch until my daughters are old enough to handle some of the hard truths about the world.

May 02, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Have you watched Extreme Couponing on TLC, yet? It airs on a night I typically work and isn't available On Demand, so it took me awhile to catch an episode. I am always looking for ways to save money at the grocery store. Unfortunately, this show doesn't have the tips I thought it would.
Some of the "couponers" have very meticulous systems. One woman said she spends at least 20 hours a week on her coupons. If only I had that kind of time. The thing that really bothered me about the show is that even if you have that kind of time to devote to clipping and sorting coupons, checking them against ads, etc., you're still probably not going to walk away with $400 worth of groceries for $10. Why? Well, I don't know about the grocery stores you frequent, but the stores I go to don't have the same policies as the stores these "extreme couponers" use. Most stores, at least the ones I go to, won't let you use more than one of the same coupon, no matter how many of the same item you're buying. The one store I frequent will let you use up to three of the same coupon (as long as you're buying three of that item), but not the 10+ the people on the show are getting away with. Am I going to the wrong stores, or are these shoppers being allowed to this because they're being followed by TV cameras?
For now, I'm not going to be able to be an extreme couponer. I'll just have to stick to my shopper's card deals and on-line and newspaper clipped coupons... and whatever tips you feel like providing in the comments!