Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Dirty Joke

Never do I participate in the telling of dirty jokes...they fail to humor me.

Nor do I partake in the telling or listening of dirty stories.

But when the dirty story is as good as this one, I'm unable to keep it to myself.

Brace's a good one........

After it rained continuously for a few days last week, the ground was certainly saturated. Any area of earth that was not consumed by ground cover, was consumed by slippery, slimy, DIRTY mud.

Insert dirty story here:

There was a boy and three girls at their father's soccer game. They had never, ever in four years been allowed to play in the mud. Because the mud abounded on all sides, it was time that they partook.
Their overly clean freak mom, wearing a new off-white sweater, just returning from church, bites her tongue, puts on her blinders, and let's kids be kids.
The end result........

Forty-five and half stares from concerned soccer fans and players, an endless amount of clean-up, happy, naked kids on the ride home, and a mom who checked one more "Let-it-go," off of her list!

Monday, January 28, 2008


We are inundated with shoes as well.

And this is what it looks like after four kids have tried to find a matching pair of shoes to wear for the day.

I still haven't found an organizational strategy for storing's obvious that a bin is not the solution.

Most of the time the shoes are laying outside of the bin, as if the bin has spit them out like bad milk.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Undergarment Inundation

Could it be considered an insanity that the contents of my childrens’ undergarment drawers are as follows:

Angel & Bella:
87 pairs of socks- 50 colored/37 white
46 pairs of panties-Baring pictures of everyone from Hello Kitty to Princess Ariel

50 pair of socks- mostly white but at least one of every masculine color in the rainbow
40 pairs of underwear- 7 of which are boxer briefs, 3 of which are training pants, which he hasn’t needed for at least 2 years now

93 pairs of socks: 49 colored/44 white
64 pairs of panties-mostly character-including but not limited to Curious George, Dora the Explorer, and My Little Pony

I know what you are thinking… “I might consider the excess amount of undergarments in your childrens’ drawers an insanity, but at this moment, you seem more like an insanity to me because you took the time to count all of the garments. And you categorized them down to their color!”

And if you knew that that’s what I was doing on a Wednesday afternoon when I was free of children, I fear you might really think I’m nuts.

I know I have problems. I believe I have admitted that before. But for the last few weeks, each time I’ve reached into my kids’ drawer to pull out socks or underwear for them to wear, I’ve told myself that I need to organize the mess. The state of the undergarment drawer had not been up to my organizational standard for quite some time, and I couldn't stand it one.more.minute.

Statistically speaking, the contents of the drawers should be exciting for me. It means Angel and Bella would have enough panties for 23 days before I needed to launder more. Isaac could have enough for 37 days, being that I finally tossed out the training pants, and Annie could make it more than 2 whole months before I would need to wash panties.

And in the sock department, I’m even better off yet! Especially considering there are many days when Isaac begs to wear the same socks a second day, aspiring to be a “stinky, smelly, monster!”

So why do my children own this ghastly number of undergarments? I really have no reasonable explanation. I’m not saying that their outerwear situation is any better, (seeing that I just went out to buy three Double Closet Extender Bars to make more room in their closets), but I’m thinking it may be because I have no idea what to do with the ones they have outgrown.

Amvets knows my address by heart, but would they still love me if I replaced the practically new toys I donate with used underwear and socks? I’m pretty sure they would certainly label me insane.

Which is what I will be if my kids disrespect the hard work it took me to reorganize their drawers and they mix the socks and underwear again!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

If you can't Beat 'Em....

Join 'Em! You've heard that saying before. Well, seems Annie has heard that saying before also, because this afternoon she did just that....She joined 'em!

It's obvious that we haven't solved the mouse problem in my van, and it's obvious that the mice are getting desperate. I've been diligent in keeping the van free of food that they can feast on. As a result, they are grabbing for anything else they can get their grubby paws on. Their newest favorite is Crayola crayons. It puzzles me as to where they are finding these, but none-the-less, they are finding them and chewing them to shreds on the carpet in my car. This morning they created a beautiful masterpiece with purple and white. The other day, their palette included gray and blue. If I didn't detest rodents to the nth degree, I might try to capitalize on their artistic abilities and try to sell the artwork to a local studio and make some money. There must be some animal lover out there who would find it priceless.

And if I didn't love Annie to the nth degree, I may have packed her up in a little box with those pesky rodents and set her curbside for the trash men to take, for as I said before, today she joined ranks with the rodents.

If ever I want some silence from Annie, all I need to do is give her some monotonous "picking" task. She loves to pick.

Dried glue off of fingers.

Peeling skin from a sunburned back.

Peeling skin on fingers left over from the blisters from Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease.

Dried milk on a table left-over from a meal.

You name it--She'll pick it!

Which explains why she was at a loss for words the whole ride home from Costco today. I didn't question her silence for fear that I might invite conversation from her. What I should have feared was the mess she was making all over the back seat of the car. If she wasn't holding the evidence between her scrawny little fingers, I would have surely believed that the mice were getting brave enough to work while we were out and about running errands.

In her 25 minutes of complete silence, (which is completely unheard of for my Annie), she had almost finished picking every square inch of aluminum foil backing off the wrapper of a Costco hot-dog. It wouldn't be so bad if she was ripping large pieces off, but instead, she littered the car with at least 100 tiny pieces of silver foil. And she thoroughly enjoyed every last minute of it.

Do they make traps for catching pesky little girls?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Are we Restricted Disturbances?

What constitutes a disturbance?

Would four children toting sticks, swinging and batting at anything getting in their way constitute a disturbance?
Would four kids climbing on huge boulders to pose for their picture happy mom constitute a disturbance?

How about a whole family climbing on rocks to pose for a picture? How disturbing is that?

I'm sure the shouts of sheer excitement by a little boy, "This is so much fun! We should do this everyday," could be considered a disturbance.It may not be disturbing in an environmental sort-of-way, but I'm completely disturbed that my girls are so darn cute, that one day I'm sure I'll be fighting off boys with the sticks that they were using on our hike this day! Okay, so that was off-topic.

I'm hoping that our numerous disturbances weren't so disturbing that the San Diego County Department of Planning and Land Use was contacted, for we were hiking on our very own property.

It has been almost three years since we have lived in our current house, and for three years I have wanted to hike the mountain. The top of the ridge is nick-named, "Hang Glider Hill," and it is with very good reason that it has this name, for this is what we watch from our backyard on a daily basis. (A windy-daily basis to be exact.)

The kids have always delighted in watching the colorful parachutes soar overhead on a windy day. It is with pleasure that they shout to their overhead guests, "HEEEELLLLLLOOOOOO Hang-Gliders."

On Sunday I decided that it was time we made the trek. We were not disappointed! There were at least 10 hang-gliders soaring gracefully in the wind. They were so beautiful, floating by the radiant sunset that was taking place on the west horizon. It was a spectacular sight, and even more exciting, it was just a rocks throw from our very own home.

Although I was most fascinated with the para-gliders, the kids were intrigued by other things. The main one being---GETTING DIRTY! Ugh! It was fun to watch Isaac running here and there, trying to convince us that he was finding dinosaur footprints in the dirt. And even greater, fulfilling my need for taking pictures, the girls were quick to jump on any nearby rock and pose for a picture.

All disturbances aside, we had a great time!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

My Very Own Love Story

I'm a sucker for love stories. It's one of the reasons why I love Nicholas Sparks novels. Love stories are better to me than sitting in front of a fire on a chilly winter night, sipping hot chocolate with whip cream floating on top. Unless of course there is a love story playing on the television screen.

Today, I experienced my own little love story. It was far better than any Sparks book I have read. Even far better than any romance movie I have ever watched. It was a love story between my son and me.

While sitting on the floor playing with the three girls, I suddenly felt two little arms reach around my neck from behind. Looking over my shoulder, I came eye to eye with my little boy. Before I could ask what he needed, he spoke words to me that made my heart melt.

"Mom, I love you so much." Before I could reply, he followed that with even sweeter words. "There's no ending of me loving you."
"There's no ending of me loving you?"

I've played the words back in my mind a thousand times since he uttered them. There's no ending of him loving me.

If that's not the definition of unconditional love, I don't know what is.

Unsolicited declaration of adoration--the most important reward that a mother could ever ask for!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Disappointing Day

It's a very good thing that my kids were on the manageable side of the behavior spectrum yesterday, for my Thursday morning was not how I would have planned it to be.

Because my monsters spend the night with my mom on Wednesday nights, Thursdays tend to be a morning in which I'm able to sleep in. To clarify, a sleep-in for me usually means the neon green digits on my digital clock read 6-3-0. Which is fine with me, because the fact that I wasn't awoken 35 1/2 times throughout the night to replace blankets, give extra hugs and kisses, soothe a hysterical dream victim, or soothe the roommate who was startled awake by the hysterical screams, is a sleep-in enough for me.

But I am remiss of my original story.

On Thursday morning, before the clock read 6:00 am, I was the one being startled awake. Not by the usual kids trying to squeeze into any open inch of my bed, but rather by the annoying chirp of a smoke detector that is 12 inches outside my bedroom door. There aren't many things more annoying than an incessant noise that cannot be drowned out by the plugging of your ears. A two foot by three foot pillow squeezed onto my ears between 5 pounds of pressure from my arms would not even drown out the sound. And my husband laying within the same ear shot of the chirp was not bothered a bit, therefore was not willing to remove himself from slumber to change the battery. It took only 10 chirp repetitions for me to throw in the towel blanket and find something else to do besides focus on the annoyance.

Which is what led me to the second disappointment of my morning. I went downstairs and pulled out the Disneyland tickets that my dad and his wife kindly bought me for my birthday last February. I was finally going to consult with my calendar and try to coordinate a couple of days that Mark and I could get away to take a trip to the "Happiest Place on Earth." What kind of Happy Place puts expiration dates on their tickets? With great shock and disappointment, I noticed that my final day to be happy was on December 13, 2007. One-hundred and twenty dollars worth of tickets were now worth NOTHING! And of course there was not a phone number on this planet that would connect me to a Guest Service Representative.

In an attempt to drown my sorrow, I decided I would go for a manicure and pedicure with the gift certificate that my dear friend bought me for my birthday last February. Do you see a trend? No it wasn't expired, but when I called the number on the certificate to book a much needed appointment, I was not greeted by a soft voice that was difficult understand. Instead, what I heard almost reminded me of the beeping that was coming from my smoke detector upstairs.

"Beep, beep beep. We're sorry, but the number you have reached has been disconnected, or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this message in error, please hang up and try your call again."

I wasn't convinced that my fate could be so, so I got in my car and drove to the salon. Sure enough, the large sign hanging above the door bared a brand new name. I was just sure that the new owners would honor the certificate in an attempt to gain a new customer. Boy was I wrong. After questioning the man whether or not they wanted me as a new customer, he sweetly replied with a smile, "Of course I do, but you have to pay. This not my certificate." I snatched the certificate from his fingers and let him know that he wouldn't be seeing my business-ever.

Looking back, I realize it could have been much worse. If my kids were home when that smoke detector began it's chirping business, the whole neighborhood would have been startled awake with their shrieks of horror, thinking that our house must be going up in flames because the detector was making noise.

And after contacting Disney via email, they asked me to send back the tickets with an explanation of why they were not used and they would consider a refund. I've already been brainstorming and searching for the words that will touch the hearts of those Disney executives, causing them to replace my two useless tickets with ones that will get me to the "Happiest Place on Earth."

If I choose the right words, maybe they'll even throw in four more tickets so my kids can accompany us.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Righty or Lefty

One fourth of my children are left-handed. But the other day at preschool, Isaac joined Bella in this oddity.

When I returned to the kids' preschool class on Friday to gather my crew, their teacher was showing me the projects that they had participated in that day. They were making a line graph, displaying which of the students in the class wrote with their right hand, and which wrote with their left.

Because I daily watch my children manipulate toys, puzzles, and writing devices, I knew that Bella was a lefty, while the other three were righty's. But on Friday, Isaac convinced his teacher that he wrote with his left hand.

She laid the paper out on the table in front of me, proving by the neatness of the two names that he had written, that sure enough, he wrote better with his left hand. The nice and neat "Isaac" that was all in a line and separated correctly between letters, was said to be written with his left hand. Right below it, in a way that would make a chicken proud, was the "Isaac" he supposedly wrote with his right hand.

"Are you sure he wrote that one with his left hand?" I asked over and over, and with an almost convincing assurance, his teacher replied with a, "Yes, I'm sure." I wasn't going to argue the fact that I wasn't convinced, so I simply dropped the subject.

It wasn't until Monday that the truth came out. As I walked through the door to once again gather my crew, his teacher met me with eager anticipation, to clue me in on the sneakiness perspicuity of my son.

"Isaac fooled me. He completely and totally tricked me, and I fell for it!"

You see, maybe it's because he's surrounded by femininity; by pinks and purples, and everything girlie, but Isaac did not want his hand printed in red, hung on the wall for everyone to see. Blue is the color that represents a boy, and on that Friday, blue was the color that was representing the hands of the lefties.

So a lefty was Isaac on that particular Friday.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Too Close for Comfort

I rarely lay down to rest on the couch while the kids are up and playing. Not because I don't enjoy the rest, rather because inevitably I become more important than whatever toy is out. I become the object of argument.

"I'm laying on Mommy's lap!"

"No, I was laying there first!"
"Moooommmmm. Her foot is touching me!"

Although my rest never comes to fruition in these situations, this arguing is easily solved. I gently roll to the side, thus knocking the arguees to the carpeted floor below. Problem solved.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

Do I tell the truth and crush her self esteem, or do I just smile, nod, and agree with her, "Yes, Bella, you do look beautiful?" On most occasions, I can easily answer yes when she asks me if she looks cute, but when she came down the stairs the other afternoon after "fixing her hair" in front of the mirror in the bathroom, I had to contain myself from laughter.

She was so proud of her new hair-do, prancing down the stairs like a girl who just received a make-over. What she didn't realize was that it looked like she either went to a pet groomer, or her hair stylist needed his/her eyes checked.

I pride myself on making sure my girls' have nicely combed hair, finished off with a ribbon or bow that coordinates with their outfits. I even asked for a $75 dollar ceramic hair curling iron for Christmas, more for curling their hair, than my own.

I like it when they look something like this:
Which is why it scared me to death when Bella came down the stairs after primping in front of the mirror for 15 minutes, proud to look like this:

So, do I tell her the truth? Do I tell her she looks as silly as a pig wearing a tutu, or do I embrace her independence and hope that she gets a clue before someone else tells her just how silly she looks?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Quick Change

I'm wondering if any of the teachers at my childrens' preschool would notice if I pulled a quick change on their role sheet, trading one Kamahi kid for another. I'm thinking it would lighten my load each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but then again, it would add to theirs.

This morning Isaac was adamant that he was taking a sabbatical from preschool. With a face that resembled a boy who'd just lost his best friend, he rounded the corner into my bathroom where I was getting ready, and sheepishly spoke the words, "Mom, will you please cancel preschool for me?" He looked in such despair, I almost picked up the phone and punched the numbers to reach his teacher.

If his two sisters weren't so elated about school each day, I might believe that he was being tortured every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As my Protective Mother Instinct subsided, it hit me what the true issue was. For the past three weeks, he has been allowed a little more time each day to do what he loves best....vegging out in front of the television, watching cartoons. It hit him that he would now miss out on Transformers, or Arthur, or any other cartoon that caught his interest. He temporarily forgot how much fun he has each day at school, learning new things and playing with his friends.

And my Annie had three weeks to forget how quiet and boring it gets around the house when her three siblings are at school. It took less than 30 minutes upon returning from the drop-off for her to remember.

As she followed me around the house talking my ear off, I requested that she use the bathroom because we were going to be heading out to run some errands. Her response came in the form of questions and comments in rapid succession, "Are we going to get Bella and Angel? I miss MY Bella and Angel. I love MY Bella and Angel. When are they coming home?"

I hated to burst her bubble, but she still had another lonely, three hours with just me, until her Partners in Crime returned home. And it was then that I had the dream.

How wonderful would it be to send Annie to school and keep Isaac at home. It would be perfect because she wants to be at school, and he wants to be home. She could fine tune her never shut-up gift for gab with the kids at school, and Isaac could get even better at watching tv. I can only imagine how quiet it would be around here and how much I could get done. I wonder if the teachers would notice if I just switched one Kamahi for another?

To relieve some of the depression, knowing that it wasn't an achievable dream, I reminded myself that in just 7 short months, Annie will be old enough to start preschool, and the others will be in kindergarten. I'm pretty sure that I'll be lost in the quiet of my own home, not knowing what to do in the silence.

It may take me a minute week to get used to the solitude, but I'm sure I'll channel my loneliness to tasks that have been begging for my attention for the past four years.

I'm off to rip off a ring from my, "Count Down To All my Kids in School" strand....only 210 more rings to go!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Horribly Normal

Am I a horrible mom? Or am I like all of the other mom's out there who love their children more than life itself, but don't love their long vacations from school?

Was it horrible that I was just as excited as they were to rip a ring off of the Count-Down to Christmas Strand we made, not because it was one day closer to Christmas morning, but rather it was one day closer to their return to preschool?

Was it horrible that over the past few weeks, I've been counting down the hours until bed time, while they were counting down the hours until wake-up?

Is it horrible that I mentally mark off the days on the calendar each week, eagerly awaiting Wednesday, because they spend the night at my mom's that night so Mark and I can go out on a date?

I'm thinking that I'm horribly normal. I'm pretty sure that all of you other mothers out there whose children are getting ready to return to school after a long winter vacation, are just as excited as I am.

But are you this excited?

Friday, January 4, 2008

Alternate Transportation

I've tried all modes of transportation for transporting my large number of children. When the triplets were born, we used the double Peg Perego Stroller and balanced the third, ever so gingerly between their two siblings. (I wish I would have taken a picture!)

When they got older and I needed to go on long walks to maintain my sanity gather my thoughts during the witching hour, I purchased a Triple Baby jogger.
It wasn't long after, I decided we needed something that was able to fit through doorways without tearing down the doorjambs, so I bought the Choo Choo Wagon from a friend of mine.

When surprise baby number four came into our lives, we used to tote her around in a simple umbrella stroller.
Then I realized that it was inherent that I had something that I could tote ALL FOUR monsters around in, confining them to one space. It was then that I bought the Cadillac of all strollers, the most attention getting monstrosity that hitched to the back of my van, The Runabout, 4-seater.

Although it was a great mode of transportation, it had three things against it.

Number 1: It caused a ruckus wherever we went, inviting more questions to flow from strangers' mouths than ever before.

Number 2: My dear husband was convinced that it was much too... how shall I say this... institutional looking for his taste.

Number 3: There was an exact science for the loading/unloading procedure that did not allow for mistakes to be made. To guarantee that Baby number four, comfortably tucked in the rear seat, wasn't thrown to the ground like a dirty rag, it was inherent that loading ALWAYS happened from front to back, and that unloading ALWAYS happened from back to front! If my memory serves me correctly, Annie only hit the ground once before I learned the technique.

After dishing out at least 2 weeks salary to pay for strollers, it only took one New Year's Eve, shopping at Kohl's at 8:30 pm to realize what I should have done from the beginning. It's probably not politically correct, and the ACLU would probably fine me for it, but it worked better than any of the above modes of transportation. A simple wheelchair!

I loaded my two shoppers into the lone wheelchair that was sitting near the door, and we shopped to our hearts' content.

And when they were done riding, I planted my butt in the seat and I got a push from my clan. An impossible task with any of the above modes of transportation!