Sunday, December 30, 2007

Seeing Spots

(Sing to the tune of It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year")

It's the most WONDERFUL time...of the year.
I've kids with some red spots on hands and on faces.
It's the most WONDERFUL time...of the year!
In their mouths there are more spots,
Their elbows there are few.
What shall I do?
It's the most WONDERFUL time...of the year?
The doctor said, "Hand, Foot, & Mouth"
Is the culprit.
Are you kidding me?
And I've got this all, times three!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Self Proclaimed Type-A Sickie

I can almost breath again. My head has just emerged from a sea of stuff, also known as Christmas gifts.

For those of you who know me, you are aware of the fact that I struggle severely with my Type-A personality that strives to have everything in its rightful place.

It's that Type-A in me that constantly has me picking up the little things that are strewn about the house.

It's that Type-A in me that causes me much stress when there are disheveled papers on the kitchen table.

It's that Type-A in me that causes my heart to skip a beat when my kids soil their brand-new clothes. Or any clothes for that matter.

It's that Type-A in me that refrains me from dressing my kids in their brand-new clothes for fear that they may do what all young children do--soil them.

It's that Type-A in me that keeps from using my dishwasher because in my mind it means I have unfinished business.

It's that Type-A in me that refuses the help of a live-in housekeeper because the last two I had failed miserably at folding the clothes the way I liked them and were not able to put the kids' clothes in the correct places.

It's that Type-A in me that had me ripping down my Christmas tree, just hours after Christmas was over, due to the fact that it was causing clutter in the family room. Furthermore, I about had a heart attack when my husband tried to lighten my load, demanding the kids to clean up and organize their new Christmas gifts.

"Alright guys, let's clean up. Stick your new toys back under the Christmas tree! And do it now!"

Are you kidding me? I was in their play room, emptying it of organizing it's old contents, trying to make room for the new, and his idea of organizing was cramming the five-hundred presents back under the tree. Had he not taken note, in the past four years, of my toy organization skills?

He has for sure seen the endless number of plastic bins, neatly labeled with a picture and the title of it's contents, stacked from floor to ceiling in the playroom closet. I know this for sure because I have more than once been reprimanded, "Why on earth are you bringing another plastic bin into this house when we have 100 of them already?" I can't fathom how he can not understand that each toy needs it's own home.

Legos, in one bin-Mr. Potato Head in another. Barbies in one bin-Transformers in another. And the list goes on.

Just as my husband fails to understand my need to organize, my son Isaac fails to understand why the great-big box that once housed Annie's new Dora the Explorer, battery-operated quad, is now housing about 35 percent of the toys that were in his playroom. Toys that he hasn't noticed or touched in at least the past 3 months are immediately very important to him. The rubber lizard that has lost half of it's "black bean innards" is suddenly his favorite. He was heartbroken that I even considered giving away the flying disk toy that hasn't worked correctly since the day he got it. After I explained that he was more than welcome to keep them if he gave away one of his new toys, he had a change of heart.

And then, there is the clothing situation. No amount of organizing could help my kids' closets. They are so packed full of clothes, I had to put all my weight into the hangers to make room for more. I hang all of their new clothes on one side--each morning when I enter their closets to make the clothes selection for the day, I always make my first selection from this "new clothes section." I excitedly pluck a new outfit from its hanger and imagine how cute the kids will look in it.

Then, my Type-A personality rears its ugly head. I imagine all of the activities the kids will participate in that day-breakfast, lunch, dinner, playing outside, coloring with ink pens, eating an orange- and my heart skips a beat. As quickly as I plucked it off the hanger, I return it to it's original place, leaving it where I know it will stay clean. I grab the trusty play-clothes, knowing that I will be less anxious when something gets spilled on them. I will be less likely to rip into my kids if a drop of chocolate falls on the shirt that has already been scrubbed free of stains.

I know--I have issues.

I know--I could probably use some therapy.

And I also know, that if I don't get over this quickly, I will create this same neurosis in my children.

Maybe after my head has completely emerged from the sea of stuff, I will make a trip to the local book store and find a self-help book with a title along the lines of "Controlling the Inner Type-A Personality--A Guide to Freedom."

Better yet, I'll head to the local library--I can return the book when I'm done with it so it doesn't clutter up my book shelf!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Glimpse Into My Future

Last night before putting Isaac to bed, I feel that I got to peer through a window to the future. I shared a little conversation with my son that I know will be the first of many of it's kind. Yesterday we attended a gingerbread house building party, and like always, Isaac was one of only a few boys in attendance, along with many darling little girls. One of these darling little girls in particular, Isaac really took a liking to. My son is not easily intimidated, for his Gingerbread Party Crush was a couple of years older than he, and she towered over him by at least two inches!

It is apparent to me that Isaac needs to work on his methods of getting girls' attention. As all of us mom's were chatting in the dining area, we heard deep growls coming from the hostesses bedroom, followed by high-pitched shrieks. After inquiring as to what on earth was going on, we were informed that Isaac was a zombie and he was succeeding in making the girls squirm. He was on his tippy-toes, growling into the eyes of his Crush!

Based on Isaac's giddy behavior at the party, I was well aware of the fact that he was fond of this little girl, but I didn't realize just how fond he really was until we chatted a couple of minutes after his sisters were in bed, and it was only he and I. The conversation went something like this:

"Mom? Did you know that one of the kids at the party today drank blood?"

"Are you talking about the little boy you shared a table with?"

"No, the other one."

"Oh, you mean Cassie?" (Her name has been changed to protect her identity!)

"Yah. She told me that she drank blood before."

"That's just lovely, Isaac."

"She asked me if I was in love with her."

"And what did you tell her?"

"I told her no"......long pause followed by a sheepish grin......"but, I really do!"

Is this what I have to look forward to? My son falling in love with every cute girl he ever lays eyes upon? If this is indeed what lies ahead, I'm closing that window, locking it twice, and pulling the shades over, never to look through it again!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Public Apology

To the afternoon staff and fellow patrons of the Grossmont Olive Garden Restaurant,

Yes, those of you who were inside the confines of Olive Garden between the minutes of 12:00 pm and 12:15 pm, you'll know why I am making this public apology on behalf of my four children and myself.

The first apology I make, on behalf of my son, to the couple sitting at the table situated on the north side of us, and to the waitress who happened to be walking between that table and ours. He didn't really mean to shoot that orange and gray suction dart in your direction. He was merely trying to load the gun when it backfired, launching in the direction of your peaceful lunch table. Please cut him some slack as he was unfamiliar with the logistics of the toy, as he had just purchased it at the Dollar Tree next door. We appreciate it, Dear Waitress, that you were friendly enough to return it to my son after it had just slapped you in the back! Please, find it in your heart to forgive him.

To the patrons who were sitting within a 10 foot radius of us, and the waiters and waitresses who were attending to them, on behalf of my two older daughters, this apology is sent out to you. It is my hope that you will forgive my girls for their absolute loss of control when I, their mom, informed them that they would be having cheese ravioli smothered in cheese sauce for lunch. I apologize that you were unable to hear the overhead music during the time my girls were expressing their frustration. I apologize that the ambiance was not giving you the feeling that you were enjoying Italian food at some quaint restaurant in Italy. I'm hoping that you find it in your hearts to forgive them, for they don't have ANY idea what a cheese ravioli even is.

Although I was thinking of all of you when I decided to cancel the drink orders and remove my crew from the restaurant so as not to further disrupt your lunches, I must apologize for the pathetic scene we caused as we made our exit. By the horrified looks on all of your faces, it is obvious that we did not do a good job of evacuating the premises in a quiet and orderly fashion. It is my hope that you will not have nightmares over the screams and shrieks that were escaping my childrens' mouths. I guess that even though they were not willing to eat cheese ravioli in cheese sauce for lunch, they were still not ready to leave Olive Garden. I can't say that I was either, as my mouth was watering for your delicious soup, salad, and bread sticks. Which is why I may have myself, lost control, which leads me to my next apology.

Per the request of my mom, who was also involved in the humiliating scene, I apologize for my immature behavior, and it is my hope that CPS will not be contacted for the manner in which I was dragging along my out-of-control crowd. It is my mom's belief that your horrified looks were more aimed at me, their completely embarrassed mother, who was trying to exit at 100 miles per hour, while the girls were only maxing out at a speed of 10 miles an hour. Four limbs are still attached and rotating correctly, therefore, I hope you will accept my apology.

Although I wouldn't remember your face if I was shown a line-up, I apologize to you, the woman who tried to talk sense into my children as we made it out the door and onto the sidewalk. I appreciate that you tried to remind them that Santa was watching, and had they heard you over their screaming fit, it may have worked. Unfortunately, at that moment in time, Santa didn't matter to them one.single.bit, and I was in such a fit of rage, what I wanted to reply to you was this: "Santa, who is Santa. Are you talking about that fake character who claims to leave presents under the trees in the homes of good girls and boys? He's not real anyways, and not one of these kids will ever get another present for as long as they live!" Again, to you, I apologize. I know you were only trying to help, and that was sweet of you!

And one last apology to the manicurists and massage therapists whose storefront happens to share the sidewalk with the big cement trash can that was on the way to my car. I apologize that you, too, witnessed the screaming fit of my children, but more importantly, it is my hope that you were not scarred by the scene of me plucking every toy from my screaming kids' hands, and plunk them into that big, cement trash can, in my own fit of rage. I'm hoping that one of you was smart enough to reach into the trash can and retrieve the perfectly packaged set of three highlighters, the squishy ball, and the previously mentioned gun with orange and gray suction darts. If nothing else, they would make wonderful stocking stuffers for a well-deserving child.

People-pleaser that I am, it is my sincere hope that all of you will forgive my children and myself for what you were forced to endure today inside the walls of Olive Garden and on the stretch of sidewalk that we travelled on to reach our car. Because I always try to find the good in situations, it is also my sincere hope that you are able to learn from my parenting mistake. The only thing that stooping to the level of three four year olds and a 2 1/2 year old did, was make the scene much more pathetic.

Again, I apologize, and I hope you enjoyed the rest of your lunch at the Olive Garden. Your peace was at my expense, as I enjoyed a lunch of Grilled Stuft Burrito in the south-west most corner of the Taco Bell Parking lot.


Terrell Kamahi

Monday, December 17, 2007


It's certainly not the first time I've felt guilty, and I'm certain that it won't be the last, but today, my guilt runs deep!

While waiting at Supercuts this morning for Isaac to get his haircut, a sweet, older lady entered the waiting area, completely intrigued by my four lovely angels! She commented on how well-dressed they were, how beautifully styled the girls' hair was with curly bows perfectly matching their outfits, and then she turned her intrigue to me, their mother.

"Oh bless your little heart. You must be the most patient person I've ever met. You seem so calm with them!"

Little did she know, by that time in the mid-morning when she uttered that compliment, I had already blown my top at least 15 times. Little more did she know, that by bedtime, my top blew at least another 55 times!

I'm not sure that my typical four Advil would cure the shouting induced headache that I am suffering this evening. It may lessen the redness of the shouting induced burst blood vessels in the whites of my eyes, but the headache, not a chance.

It never ceases to amaze me, that the very thing my children do to throw me over the edge, I too, take part in.'s such an ugly past-time!

Every night, after tucking my kids into bed, I promise myself that tomorrow will be different. I ask God for an unexplainable patience with my kids. In fact, I even pray the prayer so my children can hear. I retire to my bed, convinced that the patience will be there in the morning.

And then, just like the day before, and the 365 days before that, by 7:00 am the next morning, I'm wrestling with my patience and losing the fight!

Through clenched teeth, I'm reminding the girls to keep their voices down while others are still asleep in the house. Through clenched teeth, I'm demanding my fluffy pillow be returned to me, for in fact, it is mine, and they are in indeed in my bed. Through clenched teeth I am asking them to step away from the stationary bike I am pedaling, for fear that they are going to get caught in the pedals that my angry feet are pedaling so fiercely. I envision myself as E.T., taking flight to the nearest furthest planet.

Logically, I know that raising my voice only escalates the situation. But logic seems to escape me when I'm worn out and my patience has run thin.

What that sweet lady in the waiting area of Supercuts should have said this morning was, "Oh bless your hearts, four little ones. You must have so much patience to love your mommy the way you do, even after the times she's lost control and reprimanded too loudly."

Love is the operative word here. It is my love for my children that washes the slate clean each day. It is my love for my children that erases all the times in the day that they talk back, hit their sibling, spill a plate of food recklessly on the floor, destroy the playroom, wake up grumpy from a nap, throw the mother of all temper tantrums, yada, yada, yada.

In return, it is their love for me that drowns out the shouts of anger that I fire their way. I only wish I could be as forgiving as they are, for they love me, even when I feel unloveable!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's So Easy?

I've been contemplating the idea since the very moment the words escaped the pediatrician's mouth. After explaining that I'm struggling with the screaming fits of one of my triplets, he smiled a knowing smile, reached for my knee, bent in close and said, "Mom, your feelings are valid and the solution is easy. All you have to do is label her feeling, tell her you won't talk to her until she is done screaming, and then" it is...the easy part...."you just ignore her. Don't send her out of the room, just ignore her."

Are you kidding me? "Just ignore her." It was apparent to me then that he has never raised a child that has lungs like my child's, for there is no way to ignore the screams that flow from Angel's mouth. The noise that escapes her lungs reverberate long after the screaming has ceased. With our windows closed, her shrieks of disgust are sure to reach our neighbors two-doors down on either side of us. With the windows open, I wouldn't doubt that her screams are heard two, or even three city blocks either way.

The pediatrician further explained, that by my helping her to label her feelings, I would surely be saving future psychiatric visits for her later on. I smiled, put my hand on his knee, leaned in to Mr. Smarty-Pants Pediatrician, and replied, "She won't need the therapy visits, but I certainly will!" And I wasn't kidding in the least bit. There is nothing that drives me crazier than a child throwing out-of-control, screaming fits. It's just not acceptable in my book. It is worse to me than my husband laying in bed long after I have been forced to get out! Yeah, it's THAT bad!

I've completed day one of ignoring the behavior. I've listened to her scream for 20 minutes about not wanting milk in a Dora paper cup. I've listened to her scream for 30 minutes over the fact that she didn't get a candy cane because she was too busy throwing her previously mentioned fit. I've listened to her scream for 15 minutes because I denied her the milk she wanted later on since she never got it the first time.

Maybe the pediatrician was right. She won't need a doctor of psychiatry later on since I'm teaching her to label her feelings. Instead, she'll need a medical doctor to remove the dish towel I've placed in her mouth to mute the sounds of her shrieks of anger.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What on Earth Was I Thinking?

I have no idea what on earth possessed me to make the purchase that I did this past Monday. Maybe it was the same crazy thing that possessed me to tell that doctor in that sterile, cold room one day back in February of '02, "Please Doctor, put back three embryos. Maybe one will take." Yes, it was as crazy as that.

Moseying through the isles at Target, Chatty-Cathy Annie in tow, I saw what I believed would be a great artsy activity for my two older girls to enjoy. So I not only bought one, but rather, I bought two!

Two very large boxes overflowing with little plastic beads for making different ornaments. The ones that require you to gingerly place the beads on little pegs of various shapes. The ones that also require you to set the warm iron on top to melt them into place. I'm convinced that I was experiencing a temporary loss of sanity when I tossed them into my shopping cart, excited by the reaction I knew I would receive from my crafty girls.

Without another thought given to it, I made my purchase and hid them in the guestroom bathtub until it was time to wrap them.

It was somewhere in between rounding up the kids and tucking them into bed, and a new episode of Intervention on A&E, that I came to my senses. It was while wrapping the over-sized boxes and really investigating the number of those little plastic beads that I stopped and asked myself,

The box proudly proclaims, "Over twenty different colors to choose from. WARNING-Choking hazard-small parts"

What it should have read was WARNING-Mess hazard. Over 3000 small parts (6000 for you dumb woman since you bought 2 boxes) to be scattered all about your kitchen floor, and your bedroom floor, and your kids' bedroom floors, and wherever else they drag their bags of little plastic beads!

I'm not sure if I was dumber for buying them, or dumber for proceeding in my wrapping of them, and then proceeding to allow my two clumsy crafty girls to unwrap them for a gift this morning. No matter the case, I WAS DUMB--END OF STORY!!! I wasn't disappointed in the reaction I got from the girls. They were extremely excited and eager to open their new bead activity set. Like a diligent mom, I gave the lecture, all the while knowing it wasn't going to be a purposeful disposal of the tiny,little beads, but rather it would be an accident. Never-the-less, I gave the talk.

"Girls, you need to understand that if these beads get spilled onto the floor, I am not going to clean them up. You will either clean up the mess yourself to save the beads, or I will suck them up with the vacuum and empty all the beads into the trashcan. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Mom. We'll keep the bag zipped so they don't fall out. It would ruin the vacuum anyway."

I knew, that I knew, that I knew, I should have saved myself the trouble and sucked them right then and there into the vacuum. I would have saved myself the stress and anger that was in my near future!

It wasn't 20 minutes later that I heard what sounded like a hail storm coming from the kid's eating area. Within seconds after that 20 minutes, I heard the cries and screams of a child that was envisioning her 3000 beads being sucked into the vacuum. Immediately following that 20 minutes plus a few seconds were the remorseful words flowing out of a little sister's mouth, "Sawy, Bella, Sawy. "

I didn't even look. I continued applying my make-up and styling my hair, more angry at myself than at the guilty little one, because I was in fact the idiot that made the purchase.

And then, I couldn't adhere to my original rule, for it wasn't Bella who made the offense, but her little sister. So I helped clean up the mess.

And, I gave another lecture...

Twenty minutes later, another hail storm!

I may be dumb once, even twice, but for this woman, third time is NOT a charm. Therefore, this gift is the shortest lived gift in the history of the Kamahi household. Shorter than the finger paints, shorter than the ink stamp set that requires three baths before the last of the ink has disappeared, even shorter lived than the cheap, no brand play-doh that leaves more play-do stuck to your fingers than the sculpture you are sculpting.
I can't take back my crazy, February of '02 decision of putting back three embryos, nor would I want to, but I can change my mind about housing 6000 little plastic beads in a bin where little hands can reach. All within and hour, they were unwrapped, spilled across the floor twice, cleaned up twice, and retired to an area of the house more under lock-and-key than the medicine bin itself.
And I'm still, to this minute, asking myself, "What on earth, was I thinking?"
The only thing I can say for myself is, I now know what to buy for that kid whose parents are not my favorite!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sleeping Beauty

I imagine that if our house was situated on top of a fault line and a big earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale were to hit, my Annie would still be found soundly sleeping in her bed.

Just as Annie is infamous for her sassy attitude, she is also notorious for sleeping through most of the events that we have taken her to.

It doesn't concern her that we pay good money to give her a little bit of culture. When she's tired, she's out!

Here is a list of her most recent napping venues:

The Wiggles Concert

Sesame Street Live
(This picture taken right before she went out!)

CYT Annie Play

On top of a boxed Air Hockey table at our local sports store

(I got numerous looks from passerby's. I think they were checking to make sure she was breathing!)

All dressed up at a holiday party

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Nature vs. Nurture

Having studied to be a school teacher with a minor in child development, I was always intrigued by the whole nature versus nurture theory. It's the debate whether nature, or heredity, plays more of an important role in human behavior, or whether nurture, or environmental influences, play a more important role in how a human will develop.

Before having kids, I believed that nurture was much more important in explaining human behavior. After having kids my opinion has changed.
Since birth, my kids have been treated equally, given the same rewards and punishments for equal offenses. They receive the same love and attention, cuddling and playing, yet they are SO DIFFERENT! I couldn't have four children with more different personalities!
Angel, my caring, outgoing daughter, can change moods at the drop of a hat. One minute she is loving on you, making you feel more important than the president, and the next moment she is expressing her anger at you for something you said or did.
She is my child who has an answer for everything! The other day, I found at least two pair of panties lying around the house. When I questioned her as to why she kept changing, she
disgustedly replied with a huff, as if I should have known, "Mom, I change because I have little accidents." When questioned by my mom today as to why she and her sisters eat their buggers, she once again hastily replied with her hands in the air, "What do you expect from us. We like to eat buggers."
Angel is also my easily frustrated child. She gives up easily if the task at hand takes more than 20 seconds. She has no problem letting someone else do the work for her.
She prefers to be standing in the same square foot that I am standing in AT ALL TIMES!
Her screams are enough to shatter a window faster than a rock could.
Her care and concern for others is a trait that I hope she displays well into adulthood.
Isaac, my independent one, can entertain himself with the littlest of things. A stick and a rock would satisfy him for minutes on end. Although he too, frustrates easily, he continues to work at his task until it is completed. Typically, he is working through tears the whole frustrating time!
There are times when Isaac's independence gets him into trouble. He feels free to mosey into the pantry for a snack, while it isn't even snack time, choosing snacks that aren't even designated snacks. The other day he walked upstairs chewing on something obviously yellow. When I questioned him on what it was he was eating, he assuredly answered me that he was eating his chosen snack of "Kid's Gum" also known as Laffy Taffy. He said it with such confidence, it was difficult to reprimand him for it.
Isaac tries to make a deal about everything. He continually tries to increase his snacks by one or two servings. Yesterday, I agreed that he could have 3 yogurt covered pretzels before dinner. Not satisfied, he requested 6. Standing firm, I offered 3. I felt as if I was at a swap meet selling items, for he came back with, "How about 5?" Eventually, but not before a determined effort, he grabbed the 3 pretzels and left the kitchen.
Although he no longer takes naps, he's a marvelous sleeper at night.
He's completely content sitting inches from the television screen watching whatever picture is moving across it!
He enjoys spending the night at any one's house that will host him.

Bella's feisty personality always keeps us on our toes. She gets great joy out of instigating her brother and sisters. Her newest technique is repeating everything they say. It is her most successful technique to date, as it drives all three of them crazy!

She is our athletic child. It's not necessarily that she is athletically inclined, but she thrives on the attention that she gets from her family while she is out playing. Our shouts of encouragement bring a smile to her face, while she is dribbling the soccer ball the wrong way down the field! In the next couple of months she will begin playing t-ball. We will work on teaching her the correct way to run the bases!

She is a very talented printer and loves to color. The act of coloring or writing engages her attention for hours on end.

She's willing put put forth enough effort to complete a task with little or no frustration. No one is going to complete a task that was originally given to her.

Although it's obvious that she loves her brother and sisters, the most important thing to her is her dingy white polar bear that has been her best friend since her early months of life.

It makes it difficult that she, too, prefers to share the same square foot of space that her sister and I are sharing.

And then...there's Annie. So much can be said for her striking personality! First and foremost, she is my control freak. She expects things to be done her way, or no way at all. Without fail, each time I hold out my hand for her to grasp while walking through a parking lot, or anywhere for that matter, she ALWAYS has to choose the other hand to hold. It doesn't matter if the other hand is full of grocery bags or junk that I've emptied from the car, she has to have that hand. Because I'm done fighting that battle, I graciously transfer the things to my other hand so that Annie may grasp the hand of her choosing.

I always say that she is just as sassy as she is cute. One minute I want to eat her up because of her cuteness, and the next moment I want to wring her neck because she is throwing the mother of all tantrums.

She has a crying/tantrum stamina that I'd be willing to bet would beat out all other children her age.

She's even more attached at my hip than her two other female cohorts are.

She would be perfectly content if the majority of her meals consisted of fruit snacks.

She was blessed with the gift of gab.

Her smiles and professions of love for me tend to erase all of the bad acts that she engages in each day!

* * *

Because my kids could not have more different personalities, yet they have been raised the exact same way, I have to change my vote from nurture to nature. Heredity plays a much more profound role in the human nature of my children.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just stating a fact. I won't change my ways of raising my children, I will just realize that their genetic make-up plays a great role in how they deal with life- from how they accept challenges to how they deal with others.

I embrace the differences in my children, for it is their differences that make them unique!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Not for the Weak Stomached

Up-chuck, vomit, barf, puke, whatever term you use to define it, it's just plain gross. I'm pretty sure that no one out there likes to puke and just as sure that no one likes to clean it up. I have the belief that the disgusting factor of puke is decided upon by what it is that is being puked up.

Well, last night, the puke factor in my house was at the highest possible level. Not only did it consist of curdled milk, thick mucus, and watermelon chunks, but it spanned half the length of our upstairs bonus room, approximately 8 linear feet. It was the worst clean-up yet with regards to my kids and the act of puking. Did I mention that this event took place at twelve 0'clock am, when all I wanted to be doing was sleeping?

Four out of four of my rug-rats are sick at this time. All four with snotty-noses, nagging coughs, and general irritability. Compound that with the fact that one of them ate mass quantities of not-so-good watermelon, and you get the puking component! Oh happy day!

I think my dear husband is a bit happy that his four children are experiencing these symptoms. Not because he wants to see them sick, but because it proves that his symptoms I wrote about the other day were indeed, real!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Somewhere, Over the Rainbow

What a beautiful sight we saw from our backyard yesterday...A double rainbow! Isn't God awesome?!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ladies, (or Gentelmen) I Have a Million Dollar Question

I have been pondering this question for for the past 4 years, since the birth of triplets, and then one more, but in the past two days, it has been rolling through my head like a film strip. I have been trying unsuccessfully to find a logical explanation for my million dollar question.....

Why is it that my husband gets to lay in bed well past the sun has peeked over the horizon while my day started when it was dark enough that the moon could still be seen?

Better yet, why does he get to sleep his sniffles away without even a thought to who's going to get the kids up and out the door for school?

Wednesday morning, the moans and groans coming from my husband's mouth would make one believe that he was on his way out of this world. Expecting to see him round the corner into the kitchen deathly ill, I questioned what his symptoms were that had him feeling "so awful."

Barely able to respond through his pain and misery, he explained that he was "horribly congested." To top it off, he had a "horrible headache." Due to this extreme illness, he was forced to stay home and he retreated to his room and cozied up under his covers. Call me inconsiderate, tell me I have no compassion, but for crying out loud, he has the sniffles.

NEVER-EVER-EVER I have I been able to crawl back in bed because I had a runny nose. In fact, I recall being expected to resume my duties as a wife and a mother just days after a c-section with baby number four. My gut was sliced open and a baby was pulled out and I received not a bit of sympathy or compassion. It didn't matter that I could barely stand up straight, three other children and a husband still had to eat and be taken care of!

* * *
On more days than not, Mark goes with me to drop the kids off at preschool. While talking with another mother the other day, she commented to me how wonderful it was that Mark helped me get the kids ready every morning and brought them to school. It's a good things I was standing near a chair, because it helped me stay standing as I rolled with laughter! I nearly wet my pants!

Through the laughter, I was able to enlighten her. The scene each morning was much different than she expected.

I have walked 2 1/2 miles, taken a shower, woken four kids up, dressed four kids, styled three girls' hair with glitter and bows, made breakfast, poured glasses of milk, made three lunches, added a load of laundry to the washing machine, eaten my my own breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats with banana, all before Mark even thinks about rolling out of bed. I'm actually his human alarm clock, giving him reminders of the time in between my morning duties. (I must give credit where credit is due....Mark does style Isaac's hair each morning!)

Which brings me back to the question.....Why is it that my husband gets the privilege to catch zzzz's until the very last moment, while I feel like I've already run a marathon?

There must be a logical answer to this million dollar question.....


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sir, Yes Sir

It has taken birthing four children to make me realize that I could never be in the military. Not that I ever considered it as a career, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, I would have failed before boot camp was over.

How does the birth of four children bring me to this conclusion? It is the fact that I not only gave birth to four children, but to four drill sergeant children. They have always been very demanding with their needs, but in the last few weeks, they've really stepped it up a notch.

They've so perfected the ability to bark orders at me, there are times I feel obliged to stand straighter with my hand firmly placed at my forehead. My hands are safer at my head, as I would prefer to wrap them around little necks cover mouths, choking hushing out the orders!

By 7:30 am yesterday morning, I was already at my wits end. My orders by that time included, but were not limited to, doing hair, helping with shoes, delivering four different cereals to the breakfast table, delivering four sippies of milk to the breakfast table, finding an acceptable cartoon for eating entertainment, making three lunches for school per each sergeants request, and the list goes on.

I'm aware that these are my duties as a mother and I am perfectly fine with that. The problem lies in the way my sergeants ask for things. I might even be able to forgive the way they ask for things as well, but then it's the repetitions that really drive me crazy. If their actions are any indication of what they are thinking, my four kids are under the impression that I am hard of hearing. It's the only logical explanation for why they make the same request 25+ times in less than 3 minutes.

Like a broken record, Annie must have asked me for help with putting on her shoes 15 times within 3 minutes yesterday morning. Her request was perfectly acceptable, however, her timing was all wrong. I was in the middle of making those previously mentioned three lunches and pouring those previously mentioned four sippies of milk when she was barking her orders.

At her first request, I was like an inactive volcano, calmly reminding her that I would help her after I had completed my task at hand.

Even at her second request, I was pretty inactive. Bubbling a bit more than at first, but still calm.

By request 15 I was erupting. Lava poured from me and I wanted to ignite the whole house, shoes included! I'm so thankful that no one was in my line of fire, because if they were, they would have had white tennis shoe for breakfast instead of cereal! Reliving my immaturity is quite comical now, but at 7:30 am yesterday morning, there wasn't anything funny about it!

Because I'd rather be in control than have orders barked at me, I'm going to find and execute a solution to this problem.

My kids would probably suggest hearing aides, which is not a bad idea at all. I'd remove the batteries, place them in my ears, and I'd have instant ear plugs to block out my orders.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sweet Dreams

Why aren't they this sweet peaceful when they are awake?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patient Gene

I've decided that if there is any gene that I want the kids to get from their father, it is his patient gene. Not to be confused with the "penny-pinching gene" that fuels the patient gene.

You see, upon discovering that one-fourth of the strand of icicle lights that I was hanging from my patio this afternoon didn't light up, I did the most logical thing. I walked them to the trash can and gently dropped them in. Another strand was about to join the first when my husband realized what it was I was doing.

He was mortified at my actions and I was more mortified at what it was he wanted me to do.

"Just take a working bulb from another strand and replace each of the bulbs on the non-working strand until you reach the one that is burnt out and it will illuminate."

I was completely dumbfounded that he honestly expected me to use my valuable time to complete such a task. I mean, really. That's two strands with one-hundred light bulbs each. You don't have to be a math genius to realize that that is a very time consuming job. If you've ever tried to pull those little pieces out of a strand of Christmas lights, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

To me, paying a few dollars at the local Wal-mart for a few new strands of icicle lights was a much more feasible idea. But because my husband is a cheapskate frugal, he took on the duty of returning the strands of lights to their original working order. And because of his patience, he diagnosed the problem and executed the solution. So, we saved a few bucks, the kids and I learned a few things about patience and persistence, and I have a gazebo that looks beautifully illuminated because of the work of my husband! And with the money we saved fixing those two strands of lights, I can go out and buy some more lights to hang around the yard! Thanks, Honey!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas in November

My kids are going to be in for a big surprise when they wake up tomorrow morning. It is their belief that Santa will be visiting in the night, due to the fact that we decorated our home for Christmas tonight. Their excitement was evident on their faces the whole evening, and I overheard numerous conversations between the four of them, where Santa was the main topic!

They even wrote letter after letter, expressing their love for him.

"Mom, how do you spell, 'We love you, Santa?"
"Mom, how do you spell, 'Dear Santa, we decorated our house for you tonight?"
"Mom, where are we going to send these letters to make sure Santa gets them?"

We agreed that the best place for the letters were tucked inside their stockings. He will easily find them there when he scoots down our chimney to fill the stockings with goodies.

I get the feeling that I will be answering the question, "How much longer until Christmas?" for the next 30+ days. I'm assuming my response will eventually be, "There will be no Christmas at all if you ask me that question one.more.time!"

Friday, November 23, 2007

So Very Thankful

In the midst of the stress of raising four small children, being a wife, and managing a household, it's easy to overlook all that I have to be thankful for. It's easy to get wrapped up in the daily routines and duties, unmindful of all that I went through to have my children. It's so easy to lose perspective, taking for granted what God has blessed me with.

A husband who loves his family and is a wonderful provider, but most of all, a wonderful friend. After being together for over 15 years, there are times when I still get those nervous butterflies in my stomach when he walks into the room.

My social daughter Angel, who keeps me on my toes with her articulate conversations and emotional outbursts. A sister who loves and protects her brother and sisters more than anything.
My easy-going son Isaac whose gentle spirit makes him a pleasure to be around. His love for dinosaurs and transformers seems to be infectious, as he can recruit his three girlie-girl sisters to go back in time with him to the prehistoric ages.
My quiet instigator, Bella who loves to get attention by shyly making comments to those around her. Her precise ideas of how she thinks things should be, sometimes causes friction between her and her siblings.
And last, but certainly not least, my wonderful surprise baby, Annie, who is never.never.ever.ever at a loss for words! She's kept me busier than the triplets ever did at this age, with her gift for gab and interest in pointing out every little detail of every little thing, from a fleck of dirt laying on the sidewalk, to pointing out every "city bus" that we pass on the street.

Not just at Thanksgiving, but each and every day, I'm so thankful for the family God has blessed me with.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kamahi Cinema

Tonight, it was movie night at our house. After dinner we went to Blockbuster to choose a movie. Within record time, we narrowed down the 36 movies to one...Chicken Little.

Upon arriving home, my husband and I remembered that due to 40 little fingers, our DVD player was in need of a tune up. Because the kids wanted to cuddle on the family room floor with a fire in the fireplace instead of our bed, it was Handy Daddy's job to excavate the old DVD player from the dusty garage and make it work. With a little bit of elbow grease and 75 reminders to the kids to "back-off," the theater was ready to roll the movie.

All of the requests made by the movie-goers were granted:

All of the movie-goers were happy:

But I guarantee you that there is only one movie-goer that could tell you the details of the movie.

I couldn't tell you any more about Chicken Little after having watched the movie tonight than I could have told you before we plucked it off the shelf at Blockbuster.

I was much too busy defending myself against three monkeys who were more interested in wrestling and playing than watching characters on the television screen.

I'm not complaining. In fact, I rather enjoyed the evening. If it weren't for them, I would have been sawing zzzz's by scene 3!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Big Mouthed Annie

I clearly remember the day Annie's pediatrician gave me a warning about how her speech would develop being the youngest of four children. She warned me that typically, youngest children have a rather significant delay in their speech due to the fact that their older siblings generally speak for them and fetch whatever it is they point at. I prepared myself for this delay from that day forward.

What I should have been doing all along, is exercising my right arm to react quicker, speeding up the action of getting my hand over her mouth before some embarrassing comment escaped from her lips. I am convinced that Annie's big mouth will cause my premature death. If not death, serious bodily harm. I'm waiting for the day one of her comments rubs the commentee the wrong way, and I am forced to protect her!

In the last two weeks, Annie has put me in situations which cause me to want to immediately disappear from the scene. To preface all the incidents, I must report one very important detail. Annie's voice could be compared to that of a megaphone. We're still working on the quiet voice concept.

A couple of weeks ago, while sharing a piece of pizza at Costco, Annie noticed a woman sitting across from us with a pink hat on, covering her bald head. Because the woman was doting on Annie, and watching her every move, she was also listening to every word she said. I, on the other hand, was trying to ignore her.

"Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?"
"Hey Annie, look at that little boy over there."
One octave higher, "MOMMY, is that a boy or a girl?"
"Are you enjoying your pizza, Annie?"
"Mommy, I said, IS THAT A BOY OR A GIRL?"

Because I was sure that this woman had been going through chemotherapy and lost all her hair, I was very unaware of how to handle the situation.

Very sweetly, the woman removed her pink hat and answered Annie's question. "I'm a girl and I'm bald." Although I was completely ignorant on how to handle the situation, the woman and I were able to talk, which is what I think she was looking for. Situation number one-mortifying.

Situation number two-mortifying times 2.

While standing in line to check out books at the library this morning, I noticed a little person enter the building. Unfortunately, not before Annie noticed that same person walk in. Being that I hadn't practiced that hand to Annie's mouth quick exercise her words gushed out, stating the obvious.

"Mommy, he's really little."
"Annie, look at that dog reading books."
"Mommy, look at that man. He's little."
"Annie, go over and look at that book with animals on it."
"Did you see that little man, Mommy?" And then, putting it to music, "Little Man, Little Man, Little Man," all in perfect harmony!

I couldn't even move my eyes from the transaction taking place for fear that my eyes would meet Annie's commentee. For all I cared at this minute, Annie could have been outside the library, playing alone in the street nearby playground. Cute as she was while singing her newly composed tune, I wanted to hurt muzzle her for embarrassing me so deeply!

And as if that wasn't enough... What was I thinking for taking Miss State-the-Obvious inside Taco Bell, rather than simply driving through? She continued in her quest to have me killed embarrass me. Situation number three- just as bad!

While sitting like a big girl at the table, nibbling on her cheese quesadilla minus jalapeno sauce, she surveyed every Taco Bell patron that entered the door. As if she was trying to break every rule of being politically correct, her next commentee was an extremely feminine gay man that walked in with his friend. Because of Annie's track record these past couple of weeks, I sank lower in my chair when I realized they had chosen a table within ear's hearing range of ours. I should have thought quicker and whisked my Little Sweetheart out of that dining room before she could cause any more damage, but I was too busy eating my Grilled Stuft Burrito. If I were smart enough, I would have saved a large portion of that same burrito to stuff in Annie's mouth when her next insult came flying out.

In a disgusted tone, "Mommy, he's wearing girl shoes."

Because my attempts to divert the previous conversations had failed miserably, leaving me more embarrassed than if I had wet myself in public, I decided I'd better start to defend these commentee's before I ended up knocked out on the floor of the local Taco Bell.

"No Annie, those are not girl's shoes. They are boy's shoes."

And because Annie would argue about the fact that the sky is blue, she replied, "No Mommy, they are girl's shoes because they are white and boy's don't wear white shoes!"

"Annie. They-are-low-top-converse-shoes-and-they-are-boy's-shoes-end-of-story!"

Point taken, but she was not going to be defeated. "Then he should have blue shoes on because he is wearing a blue shirt!"

Rather than stuffing the rest of my burrito in that little mouth, I decided it was time to return safely home. Right after she put the grocery clerk at Von's in her rightful place.

"Well, hello Little Princess!"

"I'm NOT a princess! I'm Annie."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Daddy Dogpile

At 5:30 am the other morning while I was pedaling fast, yet going nowhere on my stationary bike, I heard my husband mumble some inaudible words as he rolled out of our bed that was also being occupied by two-thirds of our daughters.

After a, "Huh?" and a "What?" I realized that he was trying to relay the message, "I'm going to sleep the last hour of my morning next to Isaac."
I'm not quite sure how it happened, maybe he was sleep walking, or maybe he made an accidental right instead of a left, but he ended up in the half-pink, half-mint green room that belongs to the two-thirds of our daughters that were sharing our bed.

So cute to see a man all cuddled up, wrapped to his neck in flannel princess sheets and a soft, fluffy, pink comforter hugging his body.

Even cuter is to walk in and find the man all cuddled up in flannel princess sheets, a soft, fluffy pink comforter, AND all three of his daughters whom quietly followed him in.
And so much for my hour of peace and alone time that same afternoon. As if they didn't want me to feel left out, they decided to nap on my bed.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Art of Barter

Tonight at the dinner table, Angel proved to me that she is perfecting the art of bartering. It is a skill that the triplets have been practicing quite awhile now, and their little sister Annie seems to be at the center of every exchange.

On our drive home from a soccer game the other day, the kids asked me to stop at 7-11 to buy them a Slurpee. They had been extremely well-behaved that morning, so I pulled off the freeway and into the nearest 7-11. After discovering that there were two flavors to choose from, Banana or Fruit Punch, the kids began discussing and debating which flavor would be the best choice. They discussed it with such fervor and seriousness, an onlooker would have thought they were making a life-altering decision. Within minutes, the decision was made.
Angel, Isaac, and Bella would take a banana Slurpee, and their little sister Annie would take Fruit Punch, as decided by the older three.

In order to keep things copacetic, I prepared and delivered the Slurpee's in birth order.

Angel first-Banana

Isaac second-Banana

Bella third-Banana

And then, their little sister Annie- Fruit Punch. Like seagulls swooping in on an unclaimed piece of Cheetos at the beach, those three swooped into Annie, inviting her to try their banana-flavored Slurpee's.

While the clerk watched on, I stood a bit straighter, proud that my trio had learned the art of sharing, that I, their diligent mother, had been trying to teach them since they day they were born.

After taking a swig from each straw, Annie returned to her own. Instantaneously, she had what looked like three baby birds, mouths open, requesting a swig from her cup.

Shoulders slumped, I exchanged smirks with the clerk, realizing that my children were not in the least bit trying to share with their little sister. What they were doing was taking advantage of her. One-sided bartering.

It didn't stop there. Tonight at the dinner table, we revisited this bartering technique. I'm sensing a pattern, because tonight's bartering episode was also about food. Chocolate pudding, to be exact.

Bella and Isaac had already completed their dinner and had even finished off their chosen dessert of chocolate pudding, leaving Angel and Annie alone at the table. Annie was having a hard time finishing her dinner, which is common every night. I had already rattled off the schpeal, "You understand, Annie, that if you don't finish your dinner, you won't get dessert." She shook her head with a look of understanding, and moments later, I heard Angel begin to work her bartering magic.

Angel was having a particularly difficult time finishing her dinner as well, which is also common every night, so she thought she would enlist the help of her little sister.

"Annie, if you eat the rest of my avocado, I'll share my pudding with you when I get it." The whole time she is making this deal with her, she's watching me out of the corner of her eye, well aware of the fact that Annie wasn't allowed to have dessert because she never finished her own dinner.

Accepting what she thought was the best deal in town, Annie swallowed up the pieces of avocado, putting Angel one step closer to her prize. The prize that she swallowed up without ever once offering a bite to Annie!

If Angel continues practicing her bartering techniques, she'll soon be selling oceanfront property in Arizona!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't one supposed to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, after a nice nap? Shouldn't you be in a better mood after an hour of rest and relaxation? Why then, for the past 4 years, have my children woken up looking like this after a rest?

It is a phenomenon that has really got me questioning whether or not the hour that they are asleep is worth the agony that arises upon wake-up. After four years of a "witching hour," I am beginning to rethink my whole opinion of naps.

Yes, don't get me wrong, a quiet hour in the middle of the day is nothing short of a little piece of heaven, but I've come to the conclusion that for the past 4 years, I've had to use that quiet hour to mentally prepare for their wake-up. I've had to escape to a Nicholas Sparks love story to erase the thought of four grumpy bears that will shortly emerge from their dens. How productive is that?

Since I can't cage my bears, I'm considering keeping them entertained with some wonderful activities throughout the afternoon, and sending them into hibernation at an earlier hour each evening. Maybe that will ease the pain of those endless grumpy wake-ups.

If that doesn't work, maybe I can find some honey sweet enough to aide in a happy emergence from hibernation.

I'm thinking they got this trait from Papa Bear. He dreads wake-ups!