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!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Angel--Off to Japan

As out of the blue as could possibly be, Angel looked up at me with her big brown eyes and questioned, "Mom? Can I move to Japan?"

I have no idea where she pulled this from, but she has no idea how much I would have loved to buy her a one way plane ticket, pack her bags, and deliver her to the airport, on the soonest flight out, TONIGHT!

Because of Angel's lack of self control when she is angry, Mark and I experienced one of our most embarrassing moments to date, as parents. We pride ourselves on having well-behaved children when we are out in public. We are constantly reminding them to reply to others greetings, offer a hand when someone offers theirs, and remember to say "please" and "thank you" when necessary. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time, our children are able to pull it all off and we are complimented on our well-mannered rug-rats. Unfortunately, today was a different story.

It all started when a boy fell out of a bounce house, smack dab on top of Angel's head, while we were at a Pirate birthday party this afternoon. One would have thought that he was carrying a sword by the shrill shriek that she let out. He was much heavier than her, but those who know Angel are well aware of the fact that she was much more upset by the fact that someone invaded her personal space, than the bodily harm that it actually caused. Her fit escalated, causing her to begin heaving, inviting more attention her way. Even hiding her behind the nearby jacuzzi didn't stop her screams from permeating the party.

As if fit number one wasn't bad enough, she had to follow it closely with fit number two. Or maybe it was fit number three or four....I honestly lost track. How dare someone pass out cake to Bella and to Annie, and pause the passing for a short while before Angel got hers. It caused her much distress, and I'm convinced she was taken over by an alien from outer space, because her screams came out saying, "I want my cake, NOW!" In all four years that I have known my child, I have never heard her speak in such a gross manner. I honestly wanted to crawl in a hole, right after burying her in a deeper one! Graciously, the host tried to appease her with a fork and an invitation to dig into a community cake which all the kids were eating, but my Princess wanted her cake on her own plate. I guess she doesn't mix with pirates! Embarrassed beyond belief, I sent her to her father, and he calmly seated her back in her spot--behind the jacuzzi.

The act of ignoring only caused her screaming to escalate. Her cries were of mortal distress and soon, everyone began to notice. Her cries began to drown out the pirate music, the shrieks of happiness from the other children, and the loud hum of the adults conversing. I even overheard a few people asking that question you never want to hear as a parent. "Who's crying like that?" That's all it took for Mark to whisk her off to the car for a spanking on the cutest bare butt ever. That was the default punishment due to the fact that the only soap in the host house was Irish Springs, and I'm more comfortable washing mouths with something more mild, like Dove.

Red eyed and sniffling, Angel returned to the party exclaiming that she was done. And done she was, until.....

She realized that her Daddy was eating her cake since she lost the privileged. More crying ensued, which then caused more embarrassment to ensue. Her attention to her devoured cake caused her to miss out on the pinata, which caused more crying to ensue, which in return, caused more embarrassment to ensue.

For a mom and a dad who pride themselves on having well-behaved children, we looked at each other and decided we had made enough of a scene. At the expense of three other children who were having fun, we decided it was time for peace to ensue for the other party-goers, so we packed up our screamin' demon, said our thank-you's and goodbye's, and left the party. I'm hoping the clapping that we heard was for the guest of honor- Jack Sparrow, and not for our exit!

I'm convinced you can understand why I nearly jumped from my spot on the floor to buy a one way plane ticket, pack bags, and load the car when Angel asked me tonight, "Mom? Can I move to Japan?"

Friday, November 9, 2007

Slave Labor

I'm wondering how long it will take my children to realize that carrying the empty trash cans up our long driveway is a chore, rather than a fun and exciting activity that happens every Friday afternoon. Because they are carrying an object that is twice their height and one-and-a-half times their weight, a task that should take 3 minutes, takes about 30 minutes. But I'm not's keeping them occupied, while lightening my load!It's even teaching them to work together! Angel and Isaac were singing as they heaved the can up the slope, "What's gonna work? Teamwork! What's gonna work? Teamwork!" Once Annie is big enough, we'll add a trashcan for her!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Awkward Astonishment

For the second time in two days, my four children were completely speechless because they were intrigued by something new. Yesterday it was the Target 2007 Toy Catalogue, today, it was me, in a compromising position!

To be as modest as is possible, as to share the humor without the details, I had to go to the lab today for a urine test. NO...I AM NOT PREGNANT! It's an easy enough task, solo, but I had four kids in tow.

Before exiting the car, I had the talk, with the kids about the proper behavior in a public place.

"Sit on your bottoms in the chairs."
"Don't put your hands in your mouth, the place is probably dirty."
"Use your quiet voices."

Yada yada yada. They even added a few of the rules that I had forgotten.

Task one, complete. We made it safely from the car to the lab without any excitement. They properly took a seat after deciding on the right chair and soon realized that they had a captivated audience around them. It didn't take long for them to begin making friends, becoming sillier by the minute.

Thankfully, it didn't take long for me to get my "urine specimen paraphernalia", and we quickly retreated to the privacy of...the public bathroom, after taking a wrong turn into the blood collection area. The stress of dragging along four kids to a lab collection site, along with the embarrassment of walking through the crowd with my obvious green-lidded specimen cup, caused temporary confusion. I'm sure it went through a few of the waiting womens' minds, "For that poor girls sake, I hope she's not here for a pregnancy test!"

Although all eyes were off of us behind the closed door, I know that every syllable we spoke was heard on the outside. The bathroom was only steps away from the hushed waiting room. And I don't doubt that every person outside was waiting to hear the commotion of a mom of four trying to catch pee while eight eyes watched! I would have been just as entertained if I were on the other side!

But what those waiting patients on the outside couldn't see, was the complete attention I had of all four of my kids. One would have thought that they were waiting to see Haley's Comet fly through the air. Or that they were trying to get a glimpse of Santa as he came down the chimney. It worked for me, because I could focus on what I needed to do without having to rattle off the typical bathroom warnings that I'm usually forced to.

"Don't touch that, it's disgusting!"
"Keep your hands out of your mouth! Are you trying to get the plague?"
"Please don't sit on the floor. How gross!"
"Don't you dare open that door while I'm sitting on the potty!"
"For crying out loud, would you just stand still!"

Their astonishment of my compromising position, paid off this time. For about 45 seconds, it was as if I had turned their power switch to the off position. At second 46, however, the power switch turned back to the on position, and they shot questions at me like a rapid firing machine gun.

"Are you going to have to drink that? Why is it in a cup?"
"Mom, what color is your bladder?"
"Are all the people in here going to pee in a cup?"

I was imagining the outsiders getting a great kick out of this potty conversation. While washing my hands, I gave myself a quick pep-talk and forced myself to open that door that led me into the room full of ears that were surely listening. This fact was confirmed by the grins and giggles I got as we made our way to the basket where I had to leave my cup. Although it was a mere 25 steps, it felt like 25 miles.

I made my deposit, answered the typical questions about 5 times, "Are they all yours? Are any of them twins or triplets?" and whisked my brood out of that lab as if it was about to blow. I felt a great sense of relief, and even laughed at the potty questions that continued as we made our way down the long corridor, back to the privacy of our car.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Catalogue Awareness

Today I could have emptied my house of all of it's coloring books, crayons, Transformers, baby dolls, Legos, puzzles, you name it. There was a new interest at our house today. The Target, Christmas 2007 Toy Catalogue. It was more popular than any new toy I have ever brought home for them.

While the the trio was at school, Annie thumbed through it a zillion times, pointing out Elmo toys, a Dora bike, and more importantly, a farm house toy. Her exact words to me, in her little 2 1/2 year old voice were, "Mommy, when I get bigger, can I live on a farm like this one and have horses?" I expected to turn around and see her perusing the Homes section of the Sunday paper. Nope...with her little index finger stretched out, she was pointing to the add for a plastic farm house whose roof came off. I explained to her that if she wanted to live on a farm when she got older, she would have to find a husband who also wanted to live on a farm. As if she comprehended my comment, she quickly replied, "Okay!"

At the arrival of her siblings, Annie lost control of the "Dora Magazine," as she called it. I actually had to get out a watch with a second hand to make sure no one got it longer than anyone else. A toy catalogue, for crying out loud. Can they not share a toy catalogue? Better yet, if a toy catalogue is so amusing to them, why have we spent all this money on the real toys? We could have saved a fortune by ordering free catalogues from various stores. I wouldn't even be opposed to ordering four of each so as to cut out the fighting all together! What a novel idea.

Most advertisements that I find in the mailbox usually find their home straight in the recycle bin. I now plan to save them for the kids to browse through when I need a few minutes to myself!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Oh Happy Day

The fact that the kids were awake at 5:45 am this morning due to the time change didn’t matter one bit to me. For the first time in a loooooong time, everyone woke up with smiles on their faces.

The first to show his smiling face in my room this morning was Isaac. He brought his nose ever so close to mine and gave me his good morning kiss. It was a great way to start the day.

As if Annie was waiting for Isaac to lead the way, she followed closely behind. She too, gave me a good morning kiss and snuggled up next to me in my bed.

After tuning the television to Sunday morning cartoons, I realized that I heard voices coming from Angel and Bella’s room. Quite an amazing fact, being that those two girls rarely spend a waking moment in a different room than I am in. Like a nosey mom, I muted the television to try to hear the conversation they were having. I was unsuccessful in my eavesdropping, and at the urging of my other two children, I returned the television to an acceptable viewing volume.

Within moments, two excited girls sauntered through my bedroom doors, exclaiming that Lucy, their cat, was playing with them in their room. Mark tried to persuade them back to their room, but Lucy had already made her escape down the stairs. With Lucy gone, our room was now the more popular place to hang out.

And this was perfectly fine with me. It’s not too often that our four kids are in sinc with their good moods. It’s not too often that we can cram four kids and two adults into our plush bed without hearing a number of complaints.

“Bella’s foot is in my space.”
“Isaac stinks.”
“Annie kicked me in the head.”
“There’s no room for me.”

All of these complaints without any regard to the fact that I am teetering on the right-most 3 ¼ inches of my king-sized bed, and Mark is on the opposite 3 1/4 inches. If I could figure out a way to set up my camera to take a picture of it, I would entertain you all with the most pathetic sight! But as I said, it was a perfectly fine situation this morning because even though we were cramped for room, everyone was getting along.

It’s amazing how the first 1 minute of wake up can make or break the whole rest of the 1,440 minutes of the day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

S is for Sleep

I remember a day 'bout 4 years go,
All that they did was sleep.
I could feed them, and change them, pop them into a swing,
Out of their mouths, there was no peep.

In every picture I took, their eyes would be closed,
People questioned if ever they'd wake.
In fact, I once wished that they would open eyes more,
Boy, was that a mistake.
Four years later, the battle has changed,
To dreamland I'd like them to go.
The travel to this place takes much longer now,
It's actually much too slow.
Five hundred and one times, I remind them,
To bed they must return.
With each and every reminder,
My voice, it's increasingly stern.
Their tactics are quite developed,
They mature with each passing day.
New reasons to escape from bed,
New reasons to stay up and play.
"Mom, I need to go potty!"
"Mom, my bows, take them out."
"Mom, I am quite thirsty."
Some excuses they like to shout.
To put them down for a nap with much less stress,
To relieve myself of the pain.
A trip to Home Depot for the supplies,
Some rope, some locks, some chain!
I'll start by putting these onto their doors,
Like animals I'll lock them in,
It's the only way that I can conceive of,
This battle, I've got to win!
I'm convinced if that doesn't work,
Plan B will work for sure.
I'll escape to my own room, put earplugs in,
And add the chain and lock to MY door!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Dance Class Drop-Out #3

It is official. I have not one, not two, but THREE dance class drop-outs. Just as my girls were not blessed with the curly hair gene, they were not blessed with the "dancing gene." Their idea of dance class, is hanging onto my leg, wailing like a lame puppy, while I get groovy. It's quite a sight to behold.

I though it would be fun to join a couple of Annie's friends for a tumbling class in Poway. I dressed her in the retired dance clothes of her older flunkee sisters, dolled her up with some piggy-tails tied off with pink bows, and off we headed. The place is wonderful and very kid friendly. To top it off, in my eyes, she was the cutest little ballerina there.

As if to follow in her sisters' footsteps, she immediately began to beg me to hold her when the class began.

We walked in a circle. "Hold me, Mama!"
We jogged in a circle. "HOLD me, Mama!"
We rang bells in a circle. "HOLD ME, Mama!"
We stretched in a circle. "HOLD ME, MAMA!!!!!!"

To save the others from the annoyance, I whisked her from the room, allowing her to throw herself on the floor, OUTSIDE of the studio. My attempts to calm her failed miserably, and I decided to share the experience with my Dodge Van. It certainly would not be bothered by the shrill screams of frustration that Annie was letting out. I only wish that I had the same patience. By the time we reached the second stop sign from the place, I was ready to open the door, push her out, never looking back to see where she fell!

After many prayers, and a few anti-anxiety breathing techniques, I regained my composure. I so tuned her out, that she finally gave up, cocked her head to one side, and fell fast asleep.

I wish her exhaustion was from the strenuous dancing activities that she participated in. The only body part that could possibly be exhausted is her vocal chords.

Hummm, maybe I should enroll her in a singing class?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bang of a Day

If I knew at 7:45 am what this day would entail for me, I would have stayed cozy warm between my covers until the sun set and the day met it's end. It would be an understatement to say that I had a bang of a day!

It started out as any ordinary Thursday...The kids were at my mom's, so I got to sleep in a bit. At 7:45am I awoke and went for my morning walk. That was followed by my ordinary bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats cereal covered by a half of a banana. It wasn't until I got into my mom's car to head off to get my kids, that the ordinary day turned not so ordinary.

Turning the key to start the engine was not as it should be. Click, click, click....nothing. Dead battery. Should be an easy solution, right? I plugged in the battery charger/starter, but that failed. I talked to Mark to make sure I put the plugs on the correct part of the battery. Positive to positive, negative to negative. The engine still wouldn't turn over.

My mom was then forced to load up my kids and bring them home. On top of loading four kids, four bags full of trick-or-treating candy, two bags of dirty clothes from the day before, and a bag full of miscellaneous junk that the kids felt they needed to bring, she loaded the jumper cables. A device that was sure to do the trick.....

And so, I describe my Bang of a Day!

Because I had already consulted the man of the house about which cable to put on which post, I had it all under control. Problem was, I had 8 pair of eyes watching my every move, and eight feet right under mine. My mom was questioning my every move too, and rightly, she should have been. It was her car that I was "doctoring."

I ever-so-delicately placed the clamps on the posts of my mom's car, making sure not to touch the remaining two together. Under the hood of my van, I placed the clamps on the posts of my battery....BACKWARDS!!

Did you ever wonder why it is stressed that the red should go on the positive post and the black should go on the negative? Allow me the honor of being the first to show you why....
With the force of a space shuttle leaving the ground, the battery in my mom's car exploded, shooting battery acid everywhere, and sending battery shrapnel in all directions. The bang that it sent out, set my four kids onto their feet in a rather upright, uptight position. One half of them were immediately sent into a complete panic attack, adding to the stress of the already STRESSFUL situation. Being that one-half of the one-half that was enduring a panic attack was eating popcorn at the time, she began to choke, sending her own shrapnel flying. To put it plainly, it was an UGLY situation!

It was also confirmation to me that my job is IN the house, not in the garage. The garage is where the Man's job begins, and mine certainly ends.

So as I write this, my mom's nice, pewter colored car, with handsome chrome and gold plated rims, is sitting in my driveway with a battery that looks like it was detonated with a bomb. Nice way to repay a mom who relinquished me of my guilt just hours before! (See previous blog.)

I was happy to see the sun set on the western horizon tonight. It meant that I could call it a day. It is my hope that when it rises in the east tomorrow morning, my day will be worth crawling out of bed for.

Guilty Mom--Redeemed

One is never too old to be bailed out by their mom. This, I know, from many past experiences, the most recent one being, last night.

Since the triplets were born, my wonderful mom has kept them over night, every Wednesday, giving Mark and I a much needed night off. Last night, was no different, even though it was Halloween. I had made up my mind that a silly night of trick-or-treating was not going to take away my free night. So like any typical Wednesday, I hauled them off to my mom's house, hoping they would forget all about the idea of trick-or-treating that was being pounded into them by their friends at school. Not a chance. They drilled their "Ma," over and over that they wanted to go trick-or-treating.

Being that she is a grandma, it didn't take long for her to cave. She agreed to take all four to the mall to trick or treat at the participating stores. And might I mention, she agreed to take on this task, ALONE!!! That to me, is much more of a trick, than a treat!!!

She goes further than that. Knowing that Isaac would much rather be something more "boyish," she wipes his face clean of the clown facade, and very carefully covers the residue with a dark beard and mustache. With a few strokes of the make-up brush, my Little Clown Isaac was transformed into, none other than, Jack Sparrow! Boy was he excited. She even removed the clown make-up from the three girls' faces, and they were transformed into the cutest little princesses. Needless to say, at the expense of my mom's sanity, I was freed from all the guilt that overcame me as we walked into the preschool classroom yesterday morning!