March 30, 2011

Foiled By Mother Nature

Last week was a beautiful week weather-wise. We rarely needed jackets and we managed to squeeze in some time outside. On Sunday we took the girls around the block on their bikes and it was quite chilly. Overnight it snowed. (Granted, the snow melted by mid-morning). Then it snowed again the next night (and melted pretty fast). Under normal circumstances I wouldn't complain. It's not unusual to have a spring blizzard here before being treated to delightful weather. Unfortunately, this week is spring break.
I had visions of spending lots of time outside this week, mainly to wear out  my girls. I thought we would take walks, play on our swing set, hit a park or two. Maybe even take a trip to the zoo. It's not that it's cold here. It's in the 50's, which isn't bad for March. But the wind is crazy. It's no more than a slight breeze, but it provides quite a chill. Being outside for extended periods isn't realistic, unless you want chapped hands and chapped cheeks.
Fortunately, I found some free programs at local libraries, so at least my girls have been entertained. Yesterday they went to a "music" class. They sang songs, jumped around and burned off some energy. Plus we capped off the night with "Movie Night" (Tangled!!! What a fun movie). Tomorrow we'll be heading to a similar music class at a different library. On Friday we may head to the local butterfly pavilion. It's not the spring break I envisioned, but we're still managing to have fun!

March 28, 2011

Table for Five

A few weeks ago I was on Facebook and noticed my local Chick-Fil-A was asking for parents to help them with a "project." I volunteered and was asked to bring my girls with me to test a "VIP Seating" program.
The concept is pretty easy, and pretty nice for parents. You order your food and pay at the drive-through, park and go inside. An employee greets you, takes you to a table and brings you your food. Throughout the meal an employee checks to see if you need refills or any assistance. At the end of the meal someone clears your table.
Eating out is a luxury in my house. It's not something we do very often. When we do opt for fast food, we usually hit the drive-through, because trying to keep track of our kids while ordering gets to be complicated. I appreciated the effort my local Chick-Fil-A is making to provide a stress-free eating environment. Plus, I think this VIP seating would be beneficial for customers other than parents: disabled, the elderly, anyone who might have trouble navigating a crowded restaurant with a tray of food.
Unfortunately, this isn't a national program. It's something my local Chick-Fil-A came up with and is testing. The last time I checked, the program was still in the testing stage, but I'm hoping it launches soon (and catches on at other fast food restaurants!)
(Disclosure: My daughters and I were provided with a complimentary lunch from Chick-Fil-A to test this program. The restaurant was not aware that I have a blog and I was the one who asked if I could post about this program).

March 24, 2011

She Knows What She Wants

Ever since Cakes got her ears pierced on Saturday, I have been waging a battle with Sue Sue. She really wants her ears pierced. She does not want to stop sucking her thumb.
In the beginning, I thought she would be the first to break the habit. She tried. She really, really tried. One night, she asked if she could stop wearing her sock mittens. I agreed. That night she sucked her thumb in her sleep. I gave her a second chance... she did it again.
After Cakes got her ears pierced, I put Sue Sue back in the sock mittens. I only put it on her thumb sucking hand. She sucked the other thumb in her sleep. I put a sock on both hands. She took them off in her sleep. Last night I had to work. I told Hubby to safety pin Sue Sue's sock mittens to her pajamas. Unfortunately, he chose a "short sock." She managed to get her thumb out of the sock and was sucking it when I came home from work. I would chalk this up to something she's unaware of while she sleeps... except when I related this story to her this morning she had a small smirk on her face.
I'm willing to continue this battle until I win. I give her encouragement and don't say or do anything to make her feel bad (even if I think she's aware of what she's doing). Eventually I'll win... and she'll get her ears  pierced.

March 23, 2011

The Morning Routine

Over the course of the last week or so, I had the chance to participate in a "breakfast research group." A friend of mine works for a public relations firm and her company had a client that needed to do some research on breakfast habits in families. It was nice to know I'm not alone when it comes to feeling rushed in the morning.
Most of the participants felt our biggest challenge to giving our children a proper breakfast is time. During the week I feel I'm in the middle of a finely tuned routine. One little thing can set that schedule into a tailspin. During the week, I rely on fast foods (not fast food restaurants, food I can make fast: toast, waffles, cereal).
Here's a look at what typically goes on: 6:45am everyone gets up; dressed and downstairs by 7:10am (on a good day); the girls are done with breakfast by 7:30am; I clean up and get my own breakfast, then we head back upstairs to brush teeth and clean earrings at 8am; put on shoes, coats, grab backpacks and out the door at 8:25am. This will all change next year, as kindergarten starts earlier than preschool. I can't wait to try to rouse sleepyhead Sue Sue even earlier!
Most of the participants agreed weekends are so much easier when it comes to breakfast. We all talked about having at least one "big breakfast" day on the weekend. For us, it's Sunday. Hubby typically makes pancakes. Our biggest challenge on that day is making sure no one is so stuffed that they won't eat lunch. I suppose we could make it brunch that day instead of breakfast, but I know I would be faced with choruses of "I'm hungry" by mid-afternoon.
So I'm curious, what's your biggest breakfast challenge?

March 21, 2011

Two Down, Two to Go

On Saturday, Cakes and I agreed she had finally given up her thumb sucking habit and was ready for pierced ears. She refused to talk to anyone at the store during the piercing, but she was clearly proud of herself when we left. She made me pull her hair back with barrettes this morning so she could easily show off her new earrings to her classmates.
Sue Sue is a tad disappointed. When I took the "sock mittens" off everyone's hands, she sucked her thumb in her sleep without even knowing it. She is really trying and has at least beat her daytime sucking habit.
Tortilla readily admits she's not ready to give up the sock mittens. When she's upset, she tells me "I really want to suck my thumb." I appreciate the fact, though, that she's aware enough to NOT do it. 
Two down, two to go. I'm happy with the progress!

March 16, 2011

A Glimpse at My Future

Shortly after my daughters were born, Jay Leno was on Oprah showing clips of some of his favorite guests. Among them was a clip of a set of identical quadruplets. (I couldn't find the video, so you'll have to settle for a clip of them with Maury. I have no idea why there are French subtitles. Minus the French, It's pretty much the same thing I saw with Jay).
It was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. I saw my future... I could probably have my daughters re-enact the video. They have a lot of the same tendencies... especially the tendency to talk over one another and not use their inside voices.
Last night I was flipping through the TV channels when I came across a show called Four of a Kind. It's a reality show about a set of 17-year-old identical quadruplets. I didn't realize it right away, but these girls are the same girls I saw on TV after my girls were born. I was sucked in for a bit. It was really interesting to see how these girls interact with one another now that they're teens. They have their own friends (a scene in the school lunchroom showed them sitting with friends rather than one another), but they are clearly close. And they bicker. A lot. 
Hubby and I looked at each other and pretty much could only say "Wow." In one scene, the girls were trying to come up with a skit for a talent competition. One of the sisters felt no one was listening to her. So she left. The park. With their only car. It reminded me of the numerous times one of my girls has stomped off, declaring to her sisters "You're not my best friend!"
Will I be watching the show? Probably not. As with the first time I saw these girls on TV, it was fascinating and terrifying at the same time. It's like the whole Jon and Kate thing. Why watch it when you can see it played out in person!

March 15, 2011

Persistence Pays Off

When my daughters received "big girl bikes" for Christmas, we knew we needed to buy helmets sooner, rather than later. Winter made it easy to put that task on the back burner, but now that spring is slowly arriving, we knew we needed to figure out the helmet situation.
After looking in stores and online, I realized we were going to fork over $80 to $100. I called our pediatrician to see if she knew of any local programs offering discounted bike helmets. She didn't, but made some phone calls and told me to try our local children's hospital. I looked on the hospital's web site and couldn't come up with anything. I posed the question to my moms of multiples group and one of the members told me to try contacting my local fire department.
When I consulted the phone book, the only number I could find for the fire department was 911. No wonder 911 receives so many wacky calls. Shouldn't a non-emergency number be easy to find? Since shelling out money four-times over for bike helmets is only an emergency in my mind, I opted to call the city's "Neighborhood Services" department. I can't tell you how many times I was transferred, disconnected, etc. I was about to give up, when one woman said she would transfer me to an officer's voice mail. I left him a message and he called back in less than an hour. He informed me the police department gives out bike helmets to kids each summer at various outreach events (community picnics, etc)... but, given my "situation" (I happened to mention I have quadruplets in the voice mail) he invited me to stop by to receive helmets. Four FREE bike helmets. (They're free at the outreach events, too).
We went to the police department yesterday. The officer was extremely nice and was disappointed that his pink Hello Kitty helmets were too small for the girls. (For the record, they are quite content with their blue helmets). He helped adjust the helmets and even gave me his business card in case we lose a helmet or break one. Let's just say he and his boss will be receiving a gushing letter of thanks. Not only did the police department save us up to $100 but they likely saved us a trip or two to the emergency room!

March 14, 2011

One Person's Trash....

This weekend marked the spring sale for my moms of multiples group. I always enjoy unloading some of my "stuff" while making a little money and helping the club, too. (A portion of each seller's proceeds goes to the club).
It's always interesting for me to see what sells and what doesn't. All my tricycles? Gone. My last remaining exersaucer? Gone. Four sets of adorable Disney Princess toddler bedding in excellent condition? Not a one sold. 
This is the first time I've actually had time to shop, too. I bought each of my girls a dress and some puzzles. We were a little bummed to find out one of the puzzles is missing two pieces, but we're making do.
I love that someone else does most of the work. All the sellers have to work a shift at the sale, which is exhausting, but someone else is in charge of renting the facility, organizing volunteers, etc. I may never have another yard sale of my own again!
The good news is we now have more room in the basement. That's a huge plus. Of course, the fall sale is just around the corner and once I clean out the closets and dressers I'll have plenty of clothes and toys to tag for that sale (sigh).

March 08, 2011

The Land of Lost Socks

I never really understood the jokes about lost socks in the laundry until I had children. I almost always wear white socks, so I don't even count mine or match them up (they're all the same) on laundry day. They simply go in my sock drawer. But my daughters have oodles of character, themed and holiday socks. I, in turn, have a pile of mismates.
I truly have no idea where many of the missing socks have gone. Tortilla tends to take her socks off in the middle of the night, so my first bet is to look in her bed. I may find a mate there. For whatever reason, my girls tend to take off their socks throughout the day, and those socks end up in a pile of toys. Hubby straightened out the toy area the other day and found several missing mates. However, I still have a handful of socks that do not have mates... and have not had them for months. I've looked under beds, under couches... I have no idea where they are.
There is an upside in all of this. You may remember last week I started making the thumb suckers wear socks on their hands at night to prevent further sucking. I don't have to worry about which socks to use because I can just grab one from the mismate pile!
On a side note, if you haven't done so, please visit this link: 
It's part of a contest sponsored by Purex Insiders to see which "insider" can drive the most traffic to the site. The URL is unique to me so you just click and you're done. Thanks!

March 07, 2011

No Room to Be Spontaneous

Being spontaneous is hard to do when you have more than one child, multiples or not. Everyone expects a turn, no matter how silly it might seem. If I am talking with one of my daughters and give her a hug, everyone wants a hug. OK, that's not a bad thing. But if one of my girls does something silly and I pick her up and spin her around, everyone wants to be spun around. Doing these things four-times over is really starting to take a toll on my back!
Last night it started snowing while Hubby was grilling dinner. The girls were concerned that Daddy would get his hair wet. He jokingly picked up one of the girls, put her on his head and said "Well, I guess I'll go out with my hat so I don't get wet." Of course, three other "hats" needed to have a turn. 
There have been times that we have had to instruct guests "don't do something funny unless you want to do it four times." They'll pick up one girl and then suddenly three others are clamoring for a turn. Can you blame them for not wanting to miss out on the fun?
On a side note, I am a Purex Insider and the group is having a competition to see who can drive the most traffic to a site about Purex Complete Crystals. Please take a moment to cut and paste this link I tried just putting the link in with a "click here" type of thing, but Blogger is not liking the link function today. So please please please cut and paste.  (The top 100 "Insiders" win something, so that helps my odds!) That's all you have to do. It's a URL that's unique to me. Thanks for your support!

March 02, 2011

When Earrings Aren't Enough

I've been battling three thumb suckers for quite some time now. I've tried applying pretty fingernail polish. The thumbsuckers ask that their thumbs not be painted. I've tried bribery. Roo, who doesn't suck her thumb was allowed to pierce her ears. The other three want pierced ears, but aren't willing to give up the thumb.
I've made a huge deal out of Roo's earrings. Everyone wants to be involved in watching her clean her earrings and, recently, change into brand new earrings. (Unfortunately, a stone fell out of the brand new earrings as I put them in, so the thrill of the new ones wore off fast).
Now? I'm making good on my threats of "sock mittens." That's right, sock mittens. The dentist recommended these awhile ago. You put a sock on the thumb sucking hand at night and, according to him, voila! No more thumb sucking. (OK, he did say it would take a few weeks). 
I hesitated to do this on his first recommendation because it was summer. I know how hot I can get at night, so I wanted to try some other things. Which didn't work. So the other night, the socks came out. 
The first night was a success. No one sucked her thumb. No one complained. Roo even asked for sock mittens, so I had to explain they're a punishment not a reward.
The second night, no one complained, but I noticed after bath time the thumb suckers were trying to sneak in some thumb sucking on the couch before bed time. My solution? The socks go on now as soon as they're done with baths. The only time they really suck their thumbs is when they're winding down for the night. They actually put the socks on last night after their showers without complaint.
So far we're on the right track. The thumb sucking is almost gone. I think. We'll see what happens when I attempt to take the socks off for good.

March 01, 2011

Who Needs Sleep?

There is only one thing I truly miss about the "pre-kid" days. Sleep. I am not a morning person. I can't drink caffeine, so there's nothing to give me that extra edge in the morning. (I do like to think that if I could drink coffee I might actually be more motivated to get out of bed in the morning). I am not a night owl, either. I start to decompress by 7 pm-ish. I like to be in bed by 10 pm or close to it. Working two nights a week until 10 pm or midnight does not help me. Ideally, I need 8-9 solid hours of sleep. Like that's going to happen. On the nights I work, I'm lucky to clock 5 1/2 to 6 solid hours of sleep.
Before kids, Hubby and I worked opposite schedules. This made weekends glorious... at least when it came to sleep. He usually worked Saturday mornings and I was off... so I could sleep until my little heart was content. 
My daughters are up at the crack of dawn. No, that's a lie. They're usually up before the crack of dawn. It doesn't matter what time they go to bed. For them, 6:30 am is sleeping in. I've tried everything I can think of: heavy curtains, staying up late when there's no school the next day, wearing them out with walks, bike rides, etc. All this does is make them well-rested and ready to jump out of bed the next morning.
When I was a teenager I slept in on the weekends. I always wondered why my parents were up so early when they didn't have to be.  My mom claimed it was because she got used to getting up early when I was younger. I believed her... until now. As soon as my daughters understand (and act upon) the joy of sleeping in, you better not call my house too early because no one will answer.