Thursday, July 29, 2010


We've got style!
Yes, we do!
We've got style,
How 'bout you?

When you see us around town, no judging.  My 2 older children dress themselves.

Oh, Zander.  That is an Incredible Hulk muscle costume under his clothes.  He wants people to think he's buff.  He's outside skateboarding right now in this get up.  I told him it's hot, but he's determined to prove me wrong.  This is coming from the kid who refused to wear shorts last summer....even to the splash pads. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Homemade Disinfectant Wipes

I was running Gavin's bath water last night.  Before he got into the tub he used the bathroom....well, sort of.  He was at least a foot away from the toilet arching his back trying to stream his urine into the bowl. 

"Scoot up Gavin!"  I ordered.

"I don't want to step on pee,"  he argued.

"There's not pee on the floor."  I assured him.

"Yeah there is.  I always accidently pee on the floor." 

 Boys are just gross....awfully cute, especially this particular one, but still gross. 

That's where these awesome homemade disinfectant wipes come in handy.  The disinfectant wipes you buy at the store are very pricey...not to mention what's in them?  Do you feel comfortable handing a container of them to your four year old and tell him to clean the bathroom?  Not me. 

I use the same concept as homemade baby wipes to make these disinfectant wipes.  Check out my tutorial here. on "Or So She Says."

Here's what you need:

Roll of paper towels (I like Viva) cut in half
cup of vinager
1/2 cup of water
about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil....I like lemon oil for these wipes
Tall tupaware or other container....a large coffee can would work great.

Cut your roll of paper towels in half, like this. 

Pull the cardboard center out.  You will pull the wipes from the middle like this.

Place paper towel half in container.  Mix ingredients and poor over towels.  Put an airtight lid on and let set for about 30 minutes.  It's that easy. 

These are a non toxic alternative to those pricey commercial anti-bacterial wipes.  I wouldn't go as far to call them "green" because you are using paper towels but I really love the convenience of them. 

Gavin can now clean up his own pee off the floor and the toilet seat.  (Just be sure to tell your children to throw them in the trash not flush them!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

frightening revelation

I was at the mall today and met a man on the elevator with 5 kids....two of which looked like identical twins. 

"You have twins I see."  I said to make conversation, making sure I didn't ask the most annoying and obvious you have twins

"Triplets actually."  He then introduced me to his family which consisted of a 6 year old boy, triplet 4 year olds (a girl and identical boys) and a 3 year old girl.  Did I mention he was alone?  No mom in sight.  This guy needs an award of some sort, and possibly teach classes at the local community college for other fathers.  I gave my respects and admiration and was on my way. 

I kept running in to them throughout our day.  I was in total awe of how well behaved his children were.  They followed behind him and kept together.....that's when it hit me.  He had no stroller. 

This is a frightening thought for me.  The stroller is my sense of control in public places.  My twin two year old's are safely buckled in and I have a handle for each older boy to hang onto.  The very idea of not using one scares the heck out of me! 

I didn't even realize that I am on my way OUT of the stroller phase.  I'm gonna have to get one of those ropes with handles that the former Jon & Kate +8 use....even though I know Zander will boycott that idea because he's way to cool. 

I'm also contemplating the possible scares of having two 5 year old's in strollers.  Do you think it will have the same social akwardness as breastfeeding a 5 year old? 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear Zander,

I can't believe you are already six years old!  You will always be my baby boy....but you have such an old soul.  You have a big responsibility being the oldest of four children....and you take that job very seriously.  You are such a good big brother to your baby sisters.  You love to "read" to them and everyday sit with them in the bathroom determined to potty train them.

You are a very sensitive boy and do what is expected of you.  Because of this, you pretty much get whatever you want.  All you have to do is say, "Please Mom?" and look at me with your big brown eyes and I melt and do whatever you ask. 

You are 6 going on 16.  Style is very important to you.  You like skinny jeans and converse and want to dress like a teenager.  You keep begging me so you can take break dancing lessons.  You refuse to wear baggy jeans or cargo pants.  You think "fat shoes" and long shorts makes you look like Sponge Bob. 

A few weeks go you killed a spider outside and came in to brag about it.  I informed you that the killing was unnecessary and explained that spiders helped control the insect population and next time to let the spiders living outdoors live.  An hour later, we were driving down the road and you began to sob uncontrollably.  I asked you what as wrong and you defended your spider killing. 

"I love all animals Mom!  I am a protector of all animals.  That spider I killed was going to kill other bugs!  Defenseless bugs like beetles!  I love beetles!  I protect bugs!!" 

Zander, you were an emotional mess.  And I love you for it.  That's just an example of what a thoughtful, sensitive boy you are. 

You love to fight and wrestle with your brother.  You are kind of mean to him and like to torture him and tattle and get him in trouble.  He makes you so mad when he mimics what you say and follows you around.  He admires you so much....but he just gets on your nerves.  You're lucky that I can totally relate, because I'm also the oldest child.

My first love.  My first born.  I never knew what love was until I saw you come out of me....yes, the doctor put a giant mirror "down there" and I saw you with my very own eyes come out of me!  It was frightening and amazing all rolled into one.  While you were still inside me (TMI?!) I grabbed you under your arms and "delivered" you myself and brought you to my chest.  It was the most magical experience I've ever had.  All the pain from the 14 hour natural labor vanished.  You made everything worth it. 

I love you with all my heart and can't wait to see what adventures we have in the next year.  You are every mother's dream. 

Happy Birthday Zander!

Love, Mom....because Momma is for babies...

Zander's Birthday Party

Earlier this year I announced to the world my stand against big birthday parties.  Don't misunderstand me.  A child's birthday should be special.  But let's get real, is the party for our child or to impress the guests? Is it necessary to shell out three hundred plus dollars on your kid's birthday?  Hmmm....or maybe I feel this way because I don't have an extra $300 in the budget to blow on a party?  Whatever the answer is, I declared last year, "NEVER AGAIN!"

Instead I wanted to make my child's birthday special by taking that money that would be spent for a birthday party and do something.  Being a family of six on one income we don't get to do a lot of stuff that smaller families go eat at a fun restaurant then go to an amusement park or movie.  That was the plan....yeah, my kids didn't like it.

Zander, turning 6, kept talking about his birthday party....making plans....he wanted it to be at Big Splash, or Laser Tag, or Bounce all his friends.  The truth is, we can't afford that.  I tried to persuade him that instead of a party we, as a family, could go to Big Splash or one of those other places, but he insisted that he wanted to invite his friends. 

Call me a liar or call me a push over, we ended up having a party.  But seriously, it was small compared to other extravagant parties.  

We spent an afternoon hand making our invitations and then delivered them to the neighborhood kids.  We bought a blow up pool at Aldi for only $16 and bought 4 boxes of sherbet popsicles for less then $2 apiece.  We had a couple of slip n slides (which we received as gifts earlier in the season) set up as well. 

For lunch we served Zander's favorite lunch....PB&J, Cheetos, grapes and pink lemonade. 

Cheeto hands!

When the kids got hot they came inside for craft time.  I bought visors from the Dollar Tree...3 for a $1!  They decorated them with glitter, stickers, and such....which I already had. 

All in all, the birthday was super fun and super cheap.  I decorated the inside of my house with left over luau stuff from a party several years ago. 

Pure joy.

One little boy said, "This is the best birthday party ever!

Best.  Feeling.  Ever. 

You don't have to spend a lot of money to have a fun birthday party.  I seriously believe that even IF we could afford the big party that we would opt NOT to have one....we're just minimalist like that.  On the other hand, I'm thankful that his friends have parties at all those fun places so my child can experience them....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Obama Rice

We're at the grocery store yesterday and Gavin asks, "Mom, can we pleeeeze get the Barack Obama rice today?" 

I ignored him, and continued to read the ingredients on a box of couscous. 

He continued.  "Please mom.  You never buy Barack Obama rice.  Can we please get Barack Obama rice?" 

I finally realized what he was asking.  "What in the world are you talking about?"

He points up at a box of Uncle Ben's rice.  Really?  wth?  I was cracking up.  President's are on money....why not rice boxes?  

This is coming from the same kid who saw a picture of Bin Laden and shouted "Santa!"  Far from it kid.  I'm trying not to read to much into his horrible observations.

Monday, July 12, 2010

vaseline & ken dolls

Saturday night I went to my friend Danielle's bachelorette party and had WAY to much fun.  With that said, Sunday I received the World's Worst Mother Award.  I was tired and crabby all day.

Monday morning came around and I had to make it up to my sweet children for putting up with me the day before.  I decided to make french toast for breakfast in hopes for their forgiveness.  The way to my children's heart is definitely maple syrup. 

I called the kids down for breakfast.  Maya did not come.  I went upstairs and found this...

She found a tub of Vaseline.

"I pretty Mommy?" she asked me when I walked in.

These pictures do NOT do this giant gooey greasy mess justice. 

If you ever have this mess to clean up, alcohol works on the carpet and dish soap on the hair.  As for the body.  Lots of paper towels and time.  Ugh.  It's a nice way to start a Monday morning before your coffee.  But really how can you be upset with a two year old this cute?  

In other household news, Saturday I bought a Barbie Dream House for the girls for only $2!  I know they are a little young but I loved Barbie when I was a little girl and always dreamed of having her house.  I couldn't pass it up. 

They only had one doll that they received for Christmas from a relative this past year, so we went to Target to buy another.  Zander (my almost 6 yr old BOY) begged me to buy a Ken doll for I did.  Two of them, one for each boy.  The boys have been playing Barbies all weekend. 

I haven't the heart to tell them they are "girl toys"

I have to come clean before school starts....or their friends come over.

It thrills me to  have these pictures to torture them when they are older. 
Evil?  maybe.  Funny?  definitely.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

sick or a phase?

We're going on day five of Camille's (age 2) non-stop whining and crying.  The poor baby has been attached at my hip for four days straight.  It seems nothing can make her happy. 

I am hopping her amber teething necklace will do the trick.  I'm kind of at a loss.  I have noticed she is burping a bit more.  Could this mean indigestion?  or stomach ache? 

She's still eating.  Well....she's picky....but that's nothing new. 

Her voice is a little raspy too. 

What do you think?  Just a phase?  Or teething?  Or worse?

It is such a hassle to take my crew to the doctor.  Not to mention  what would I say?  "Yes.  My 2 year old is moody and fussy.  Fix her." 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Calgone, take me away!

It's one of those days. 

It's 11:22 am and my house is finally quiet.  All 4 children asleep, hopefully to wake up in better moods.  It's been a crazy emotional morning. 

The craziness is partly my fault.  Last night I let the boys talk me into staying up late and watching Star Wars.  It's summer right?  Why not.  They can sleep in. 

Well, they didn't.  Instead they were up at 7:30....that's earlier than they usually wake up. 

Since we were up so early anyway I decided to get the kids dressed and meet some friends for a playdate over at the mall playground.  We were all dressed ready to go, dog in the kennel, and babies buckled in the car seats.  I asked Gavin to scoot over so Zander could get by in the van.  He refused.  Things escalated.  Tears and screaming on his side.  I was at a loss as to what to do.  I told him to get out of the van so we could have a talk.  He refused again.  I told him that if he didn't listen to me then we weren't going to go play with our friends.  He still refused. 

What's a mother to do?  Make empty threats?  Not me. 

So I unloaded the twins....who, by the way, did not understand what was going on and were crushed because we were going back inside.  They both started crying.  Zander was angry at his brother. 

Gavin still refused to get out of the van.  Screaming at the top of his lungs ordering me to take him to the mall.  We all went inside and left him throwing his fit by himself....which lasted about 20 minutes. 

Then he can in.  He said he would be nice and asked to go to the mall. 

"Sorry Gavin.  It's to late.  I'm glad that you decided to be nice, but we're not going to the mall.  The way you behaved and talked to me was wrong." 

"Mom!  You're so mean to me!  I WANT TO GO TO THE MALL RIGHT NOW!!"  Followed by more screaming. 

Ok.  The husband and I have been talking about this a lot lately.  He thinks I need to spank him.  It's really hard for me to spank my children.  It's one thing to swat their little hand when they try to touch the stove.  But spanking as a punishment?  I have mixed emotions about that. 

But I did.  I spanked him.  Seriously he was acting horrid.  I needed to get his attention.  He's 4 going on 14 and if I don't get this attitude in check I'm in trouble. 

He was sent to his room where he continued to throw stuff and scream and he was making himself sick with anger.  I went in there after time had past and the tantrum hadn't ceased. 

"Gavin?  Calm down.  You're going to making yourself crazy.  Come here." 

I sat on the bed.  He walked over with angry eyes and said, "I want to cut your head off!" 

I hugged him.  "Calm down my son.  Mommy loves you.  Please stop saying hurtful things that you don't mean." 

"I want to go to the mall!" 

"We're not going to the mall today.  You have a choice now.  You can be angry and mad for the rest of the day OR you can get over it.  You can come down stairs and eat lunch with us if you want.  I made PB&J...your favorite." 

Sigh.  It's been one of those days.

He gets his wild emotions from me.  I can totally relate.  But it's my job to teach him how to control them.  Right now I'm at a loss on how to do this.  He really is a sweet boy.  Just very moody and emotional.  He's got all the makings to be a very successful musician or artist. 

What did I learn from this?  It's to late to start a movie at 8pm. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Going Green

I watched a documentary not to long ago (sorry, don't remember the name of it).  Some very educated man concluded that multitasking was a delusion, in reality one simply does one thing, switches to another task, then switches back.  HA!  Obviously he isn't a Mother of 4 young children like me.  I have cooked dinner, helped with homework, and breast fed a baby all at the SAME TIME! 

Multitasking is ONE reason I love cleaning green.  My twin girls are now two.  They love their bath time every evening....usually spending 30 minutes in the tub.  I still have to watch them the entire time, but I don't have to be at arms length anymore.  When you make your own non-toxic cleaners you can safely clean the rest of the bathroom without worrying your babies are breathing in harsh chemicals.  See?  Multitasking. 

Here's a few other perks of making your own homemade non-toxic cleaners: 
  • You save money.
  • Down size your cleaning supplies....seriously, go through your house and count ALL your cleaners....I had 32 in my house.  32 different cleaners...that's a LOT of space I could be saving. 
  • It's good for the environment and your families health.
  • Safety.  If your child gets into your homemade cleaners it's not that big a deal.  There are over 5 million reported poisoning every year, the #1 cause of child poisoning is household cleaners. 
We all love our children and want what's best for them.  We all baby proof our home with those annoying cabinet and drawer guards.  The problem is both my boys mastered these by age 3.  Not to mention they could push a chair up and climb anything.  I have the cutest video of Zander in the kitchen when he was about 2.  He got into the cabinets, somehow opened the vegetable oil (it was a push down, twist off top!) and poured it all over the kitchen floor.  He was so proud of his mess and had a blast slipping around in it.  But what if that was Drano?!  Drano is the most dangerous thing to have in your home.  Don't take my word for it.  Check with the all knowing google...he'll tell ya.  I'm guilty of buying the liquid poison religiously.  With my long hair you know I've got some clogged drains.  My husband wonders how I have any hair on my head at all because I shed so much! 

I will stop now.  As you can see I have become a little obsessed with learning about this kind of stuff and I feel like I need an outlet.  Hey, maybe I'll do a spin off from this blog.  Hmmm....what should I call it?  Going Green w/ Suburban Hippie Momma?  Or how about "Learning Green" because I definitely don't claim to know it all and am learning everyday.  I sure as heck haven't led a green lifestyle.  I'm embarrassed to say I just started recycling religiously this year.  Yeah.  Shame on me. 
So it's settled.  I'm starting a new blog.  Don't worry faithful followers.  Surviving 4 Kids isn't going anywhere.  I just know that some people are settled in there ways and don't care about this stuff.  I'm not a pushy person, just passionate.  PLUS this is my children's blog.  It's my mommy outlet.  Don't want to weigh it down with startling statistics and non-toxic cleaner recipes. 

I also plan on tackling other issues of concern.  One step at a time.  Like the food I eat and feed my family.  Yikes.  I love me some Taco Bueno.  Not sure if I really want to learn where that food comes from or how it's processed!

I think it will be fun and educational, plus, knowledge is wisdom right?  I talk can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk.  We shall see. 

Any ideas on what to call the new blog?  "Journey to Green" ?? 

And more important, would YOU be willing to take the journey WITH ME??

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Secret Agent Zander

I just had a very funny conversation with a couple of 5 year old boys.  Joe (the kid from next door) came down stairs from playing with the other children, looking very disturbed. 

"Ms. Dana?  Is Zander really a spy?"  Joe asked.

I had to pry.  "Why do you ask that?"

Kid by day, spy by night

"Well, Zander said he was.  A real one.  He said when you go to sleep at night he sneaks out of the house to his secret headquarters.  He said he fights bad guys that our in our neighborhood.  He says he's a ninja and he uses rocks as weapons.  Are there really bad guys in our neighborhood?" 

"He is just pretending Joe."  I tried to reassure him. 

Zander joined us downstairs. 

"Your mom said your not really a spy."  Joe told Zander.

"Yeah I am.  She has no clue.  She thinks I'm just her normal kid....but I'm really not."  He leans over and whispers in his friend's ear, "I'm a Secret Agent."   

"But there are no bad guys in our neighborhood!"  Joe exclaimed.

"Not anymore.  I fought them all.  Some tried to sneak in your house, but I fought them right in your front yard!  You must have been sleeping.  It was around midnight." 

"Zander!"  I gave him the look.  "He's pretending Joe."  I could see the look of concern in Joe's eyes. 

"Believe what you want."  Zander said with an evil grin. 

I have to admit that I'm a little impressed of this whole scheme he's got going on.   I love his imagination but is it really necessary to scare the neighbor kids??  Joe's parents are just gonna love this one.