August 30, 2011

Running Out of Options

The novelty of eating in the cafeteria still hasn't worn off for my daughters. The excitement of packing their lunches has definitely worn off for me. Basically, I'm running out of healthy options.
Don't get me started on drinks. For whatever reason, the only juice boxes I can find are not 100% juice. My girls still struggle a bit with juice pouches (Caprisun, etc) and I can't blame them. Sometimes I have trouble opening them, too. It's easier to pack boxes, but I would much rather pack real juice than the stuff I'm finding.
Three of my girls are willing to experiment with sandwiches. They like turkey. They like peanut butter and jelly. (Thank goodness our school allows peanut butter). They'll even ask for sandwiches with just cheese. One of my girls refuses to try turkey, but she's happy with the other choices. (I should probably point out that they have insulated lunch bags and I throw an ice pack in each bag every morning). Still, I wish I could find more variety.
I tried packing carrot sticks. I stopped doing that after one my girls told me she gave away her carrots to a friend. I'll also pack a small bag of pretzels or chips. I've discovered, though, that they're not eating these at lunch. They save them for the car ride home. 
My biggest issue in trying to find variety is time. The entire lunch period is about 40 minutes, but this includes a 20 minute recess. The actual eating time is about 15 minutes. I'm really struggling to find things they'll eat and be able to finish in that amount of time. Any input is appreciated!

August 29, 2011

The Story of Clementine

Last Wednesday I dropped off my daughters at school, went to the grocery store and came home. Thank goodness I was paying attention, because in our driveway, directly in my path was this:
 I pulled the car over, got her out of the road and proceeded to unload groceries. Then I took a picture and sent it to Hubby. My initial thought was to take her down the street where there's a big field and a reservoir. I became distracted and didn't follow through. Thank goodness I didn't take her there.
Hubby emailed me from work and told me to put the turtle in our backyard until he could figure out what to do with her. We didn't want her to get hit by a car or taken in by the neighbor girl who all but abuses her two dogs. Hubby did an Internet search and found a local reptile rescue group. Upon seeing the picture, the woman in charge told him the turtle is not native to our area and, if left to her own defenses, would die in the elements and/or spread diseases to the "wild" turtles. Her speculation was that the turtle was either an escaped or abandoned pet. She and Hubby started corresponding to figure out how the turtle could end up in the hands of the rescue group.
In the meantime, when my daughters came home from school I told them what had happened and let them see the turtle. For whatever reason, they decided to name her Clementine. (Internet research leads us to believe the turtle is female). 
The rescue group wanted Hubby to drop off Clementine on Saturday. He told the woman a) it was kind of a long drive and b) he would have to bring the girls since I would be working. She told him they don't allow kids in the facility. Ummm, ok. So he asked her if there was a volunteer in our area who could pick up Clementine since she's, in my opinion, a dire case, meaning she's not native and can't just be turned loose. The woman informed Hubby they don't "typically" do that so could he still drive nearly an hour on Saturday to drop off the turtle. 
We contemplated keeping Clementine. Our girls really wanted to keep her. Every morning before school they made me go in the backyard to check on her. The other day they watched her eat lettuce and berries. They were delighted when she pooped in the box we used for her feeding. Unfortunately, she requires both an indoor and outdoor habitat, one that we don't have the time or money to maintain. As much as it would be fun to have a turtle, she's just too much work.
Fortunately, Hubby found a second local reptile rescue group. This one has volunteers who are willing to drive anywhere in the state for a reptile. (I think that's because they deal mainly with snakes and such that people took in as pets and no longer want). The leader of the group is located near Hubby's work. So this morning, Clementine is on her way to work with Hubby to picked up by this group. She'll spend 90 days in their care while they determine if she's healthy enough to be adopted out. Hopefully after that time period she'll find a family with the time and energy to provide her a good home.

August 23, 2011

The Downside of Home Ownership

Don't get me wrong... I'm glad I'm not a renter. But I swear when one home improvement need arises, a million more get added to the list. I miss the days of being able to call a landlord and have the problem fixed right away. (Unless you are a college student and rent from a well-known slumlord. Then he will simply send a bouncer from one of his bars to take a look at your broken fridge. Said bouncer will give you an extension cord and wish you luck. True story).
Our summer of battling the sprinkler system came to a head last night when one of the pipes broke. We're hoping it's an easy fix since it's an above ground pipe. Of course, this means we're not running the sprinklers while it is nearly 100 degrees outside, so our grass will suffer and our HOA will likely fine us for brown grass. 
Then there's the gutter on the roof that is still pulling away from the house. This is why you should not rely on someone who owes your father-in-law a favor to fix the gutter for free.
Still, I'm just glad we are able to afford the luxury of a house. We spent three months in an apartment just before our girls turned two. It wasn't fun. It's not something I want to experience again. I guess I'm just going to have to win the lottery and hire a team of employees to take care of all my lawn and home repair needs! (In that case, I'll hire a house keeper, chef and chauffeur, too!)

August 22, 2011

You Can Tell Which Moms Have Kindergartners

The kindergarten moms (and dads) at my daughters' school are easy to spot. We are the moms who stayed until the first bell on the first day and reluctantly walked to our cars when our children went in the building. We are the moms who stayed until the first bell on the second day, but tried not to be overbearing as our children ran around on the playground before the bell. We are the moms who spent Friday standing off to the side, practically in the parking lot, joking with one another that on Monday we would suck it up and simply drop our children off in the front of the building, let them walk to the playground and stay out there until the first bell all by themselves (well, with teacher supervision, of course).
I don't know about the other moms, but I managed to do just that this morning. It was a little unsettling watching my four girls walk to the back of the school by themselves. Even they weren't sure they were up for the challenge. They made it to the playground and probably forgot about me the minute they climbed on the swings. I'm slowly learning to let go.

August 18, 2011

The First Day

We did it! We all made it through the first day of kindergarten! I even made it through the drop off with just a few tears trickling down my face. I'm not necessarily a sensitive person, but I am emotional. I cry when I'm happy, sad, angry, you name it. Then I typically cry harder because I'm so annoyed that I'm crying. 
My meltdown actually happened the night before the first day. I made all their lunches and tucked a surprise Tootsie Roll in each lunch box... and then started crying. I was imagining my "babies" being such big girls and doing big girl things, such as eating in a cafeteria. I felt silly for crying, but I'm glad I got it out. I think had I not had that cry, I might have been bawling at the drop off.
The first day went great, except for a few minor things. All my girls know to give swings a wide berth. Unfortunately, the kindergarten playground has monkey bars and Sue Sue walked too close while a boy was on them. She took a hard kick to the face before school even started. She shed a few tears and then shook it off. Roo was apparently called a "doofus" by a classmate, but Tortilla walked up to the little girl and said "Don't ever call my sister that again." There are some benefits to having siblings in the same class! Oh, and I walked out the door without grabbing the bag of school supplies! Oh well. I managed to get four girls, four backpacks and four lunch boxes to school. I would say the points are in my favor.
Despite a few bumps in the road, they had blast. They chatted nonstop about all the things they did. I expected them to be wiped out after an entire day in school, but they didn't seem to be tired at all. In fact, they were somewhat annoyed that it was dinner time within an hour of coming home. (Although all four claimed to be "starving" when I picked them up!) Still, they were asleep the minute their heads hit the pillows last night.
All in all, this is looking like it will be a good year!

August 16, 2011

It's Almost Time

Tomorrow is the big day. My babies, who insist they are not babies, will be going to kindergarten! I can't believe how time flew by this summer. We didn't do everything I had envisioned, but we still had a lot of fun.
Yesterday we spent about an hour and a half at school for kindergarten assessment. Other than the girls not being assigned to the right teachers, everything was fine. The teacher situation was quickly resolved, too. (It was more of an issue of the "pairings," than the teachers. I requested that Cakes and Tortilla be separated since they're my identicals. They were put in the same class, but it was an easy fix to switch Tortilla and Sue Sue).
I would love to tell you what happened during the assessment, but I wasn't allowed to be involved. I sat out in the hallway while they met individually with their teachers. I think this was a good thing as it meant fewer distractions for them as they were "assessed." Plus, it gave their teachers a chance to get to know them one on one. (According to Sue Sue "Some things were easy. Some things were hard." I peeked in on one assessment. It involved counting, identifying letters, sounds, etc.)
And so, we are headed to the pool today one last time before school starts. Their clothes for tomorrow are picked out. Hubby and I have a "breakfast date" after we drop them off. And I expect everyone to be exhausted by the end of tomorrow!

August 10, 2011

We're All Pierced

It took a looooong time, but all four of my girls finally have pierced ears. If you've been reading my blog, then you'll know pierced ears was their reward if they stopped sucking their thumbs. Roo was the first to get pierced, since she never sucked her thumb. By the end of May, I had three girls with pierced ears. And then there was Sue Sue.
She simply didn't want to stop sucking her thumb. When I first suggested pierced ears, she immediately stopped sucking her thumb during the day. But the night was a different story. She didn't try to stop... she didn't want to stop. Eventually I just stopped pushing the issue. If she didn't want pierced ears, then so be it.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that while she does suck her thumb at night, it's very rare, and only when she's in a deep sleep. Then I noticed that two of her sisters do the same thing... only when they're in a deep sleep. And so, Sue Sue now has pierced ears. 
Looking back, I'm glad all four were pierced at different times. It made the cleaning process a lot easier. Knock on wood, we haven't had any issues with infections and all four have been really good at reminding me to clean their piercings. Now if I could just find an incentive to get them to clean up their toys every night....

August 08, 2011

Our Grocery Game

For whatever reason, it has become easier to take all four of my girls to the grocery store, rather than wait for Hubby to come home and go by myself. This is not something I would have tried a year or so ago, but my girls have been surprisingly well behaved on all of our recent grocery outings. They do, however, seem to think we should buy everything in the bakery and in the cookie aisle. To avoid the "can we buy this?" conundrum, we've started playing a new "game." Every week we make it our mission to find a fruit we've never tried. 
It all started a few weeks ago when the price of blueberries was ridiculous. My girls were disappointed that we weren't going to buy one of their favorite fruits, so when I saw star fruit, I appeased them with that. They were hooked and have been looking forward to finding a new fruit each week.
So far we've tried:
Star fruit - they all liked it
Kiwi - they all liked it (they've had kiwi in fruit salads before, but it was fun for them to see what the fruit looks like in its skin)
Apricot - only two liked this
Pineapple - they all liked it (they've had pineapple, but this was the first time they've had a whole pineapple)
Papaya - no one really cared for this. I tried it and wasn't impressed. I may not have bought a ripe one.
This little experiment of ours has been fun for all of us, but a bit of a challenge, too. My web searches lately have consisted of "How to cut (insert fruit here)." Surprisingly, out of all the new things we've tried, the whole pineapple has been one of the easiest to peel and cut.
As the summer winds down, our fruit selections are going to be limited. I just don't know that we would have the same outcome trying different vegetables, so I'm thinking once a week we'll have to find a new recipe to try. It should be fun to see what they come up with.

August 03, 2011

The Eating Habits of Little Girls

Several times at the grocery store, as I fill my cart with 4 or 5 gallons of milk, I've been stopped by another shopper who says "Oh, you must have teenage boys." "No," I'll say, "Just quadruplet girls who can't stop eating." We all know the stereotype about teenage boys. Supposedly they eat their parents out of house and home. I'm beginning to think the same is true for girls between the ages of four and... I'll let you know when it stops.
I can always tell when my girls are going through growth spurts. They simply can't get enough to eat. They used to eat three chicken nuggets, a serving of vegetables, maybe some mashed potatoes and feel stuffed. Now they can eat six nuggets, vegetables, two servings of potatoes, drink all their milk and still want more. (I don't know about you, but I don't know if I could eat that much in one sitting and not feel ready to explode). Our monthly visits to Sam's Club have turned into every 2 to 3 week visits. I'm constantly looking for sales on what they eat most, but our refrigerator is always stuffed, rarely giving me the opportunity to stock up.
And so, after much discussion, over the weekend we became a two fridge family. This has actually been a long time coming. Soon after our daughters were born, we knew we would need either a deep freezer or another refrigerator. Eventually, we decided the deep freezer wasn't the best idea, since both our freezer and our fridge are stuffed to the gills after our weekly shopping trips. We've been putting it off, but once I realized I didn't have enough room to store four lunch boxes each night, we decided it was time to make the plunge. (I will be working in the morning after dropping my girls off at kindergarten, so lunches have to be made the night before. There's no way I can get all five us ready each morning and make them a decent lunch to take to school).
We initially looked at putting our current fridge in the garage and upgrading to a nicer one, but the one we have is still in good shape. Since we were purchasing a "garage fridge" we actually found a decent deal. It's pretty spacious in both the freezer and the fridge and will definitely come in handy. Now I'm off to the grocery store to fill it up!

August 02, 2011

Finally Some Relief

For the longest time I have had a small patch of dry skin on one of my legs. Nothing was helping. Eczema? I don't know. All I know is it was red and itchy and annoying. Then I tried Triple Cream. This stuff is amazing. Unlike other creams, this one immediately started working and the dry skin was cleared up within two days. I'm definitely a fan.
I only have two complaints about triple cream. It has the consistency of diaper cream, so it's not something I can put on after my morning shower because I don't want it all over my clothes. My other complaint? Apparently my skin is addicted to it. If I go just one day without it, the dry skin starts coming back. That's OK, a little bit goes a long way!
Summer Laboratories currently has a fun promotion going on for families of triplets (or more). It's called Triple Paste for Triplets. Parents with triplets (or more) who are less than one year old can sign up here to receive a bunch of goodies. You'll get a 16 oz. jar and a 2 oz. tube of Triple Paste medicated diaper rash ointment, one 2 oz. tube of Triple Cream, an embroidered brushed cotton receiving blanket and a Triple Paste comfort bear for each baby. Plus you'll become a member of the Triple Paste for Triplets savings club and receive a 30% discount and free shipping on all future Triple Paste orders. I know most of my "multiple" readers have twins, but this is definitely a promotion worth passing on to your local moms of multiples club!
(Disclosure: Summer Laboratories asked me to write about the program and provided me with a complimentary bottle of Triple Cream. No monetary compensation was given for this post. All opinions are mine!!!!)

August 01, 2011

Slightly Panicked

On Friday I took my daughters shopping for school supplies. Somehow, we managed to come in under $100, if you don't count back packs and lunch bags. Kindergarten school supplies are fairly basic: markers, water colors, 96 #2 pencils. Yes, 96. (OK, 24 per student, so 96 for our family). I will count myself lucky for finding the supplies at a relatively decent total price, because I'm sure next year the list will be more specific and cost much more.
Then on Friday night I received an email from the school. The first day of kindergarten has changed. Changed. CHANGED! It is now five days earlier than we originally planned.
I could go on a big rant about the principal and say things such as "How dare he?!" But the truth is, I completely understand why he made the change (even if it would have been better to have made the change at the end of the previous school year). Traditionally, full day kindergarten, half day kindergarten and preschool start on the same day. This causes what I like to call "parking lot chaos" at our school. The parking lot is small, which makes sense since elementary kids can't drive. This is all fine, until there's a big day at the school: parties, field days, and the first and last day of school. The road in front of the school turns into a make shift parking area, and this is not a road full of cautious drivers. Anyone without a student speeds through the school zone, regardless of the signs posted. It's not unusual for a police officer with a radar to be situated in front of the school during the first few weeks.
Anyway, the first day of kindergarten has been changed in order to stagger the start dates for full day, half day and preschool. I'm on board with change because of the parking lot situation and because instead of starting on a Monday we will now start on a Wednesday. This means my girls will spend three full days in kindergarten, then have a weekend and then embark on a full week of full day school.
Unfortunately, I'm now in slight panic mode. Hubby and I are now frantically trying to reschedule vacation days to accommodate the new first day rather than the old first day. Our summer break has now been cut by five days, not a huge deal, but takes away our last few days at the pool. Oh and did I mention that by the time you read this I will have just 16 days to get us ready to go back to school?! Yes, I'm slightly panicked.