Playing Tooth Fairy

Well, the triplets have reached that age.

No, not the age were we can send them off into the world to fend for themselves, tempting as that may be, that is not the age I am talking about.

The triplets have reached the age where they are loosing teeth. Dropping those little pearly whites like we have never brushed their teeth, taken them to the dentist and fed them sugar since birth.

Ok, maybe not dropping them that fast and so far only Jake and Quinn have lost teeth but I know more are coming. The dam is about to break and soon I may need mash up all their food since they won’t have any teeth left in their heads.

Every day one of them will tell me, “Mom, this tooth is loose or this tooth hurts.” I’m preparing myself to see a lot of toothless grins.

What does reaching this right of passage mean, besides the fact that the next time I blink my three babies will be asking for the keys to the car? Well, it means that Jeff and I get to play tooth fairy.

Childhood is grand for it’s innocence and the belief in magic. I’m all for keeping it that was as long as possible. It’s just that having to play tooth fairy or more honestly, remembering to play the tooth fairy is hard.

You would think that since it’s happening more and more often around this house it would get easier but no, it’s not.

I mean poor Quinn, the second tooth he lost the tooth fairy forgot to come for two nights in a row. How are she do that to him. Poor kid was crushed. And my mommy guilt was at an all time high so much so I begged Jeff to give me lashes with a wet noodle.

I don’t mean to forget and neither does Jeff but for some reason, slipping into their rooms and exchanging that tooth for a golden dollar is one of the most difficult things in the world. I think it would be easier to get Kim Kardashian’s stop being a reality TV star.

We’ve tried all kinds of ways to remember, setting alerts, writing notes, even asking the cat to remind us. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

boy with a lost tooth

This time it was Jake’s turn to loose a tooth. Actually, I pulled it out during our family movie night movie because I was kind of sick of seeing it dandle by a thread. It was his first loose tooth, the first one he lost and judging but the loose ones next to it, it won’t be long until another one can be yanked from his head.

As we tucked the kids in and said prayers, he put that tooth under his pillow and talked non-stop about how the tooth fairy would come. Jeff and I gave each other ‘the look’ and as soon as the kids were all in bed, Jeff retrieved a golden dollar from the hiding spot.

“What are you doing?” I ask as Jeff started up the stairs again.

“Going to make the exchange,” he said.

“Um… they just went to bed. We kinda have to wait until he’s asleep.” I said.

“Oh, yeah” Jeff answered as he walked back down. “Where should I put this so that we will remember to do it later?”

I stopped for a moment, that was the million dollar question.

“Just set it on the counter, then we’ll see it when we head to bed,” I said.

Jeff walked over to the counter and set the golden dollar down but then paused. “The only thing that setting his coin here will mean is that Jake will find it here and not under his pillow in the morning.”

I laughed, he had an excellent point.

“Do you have a better idea?” I asked.

He shrugged and I turned my attention to my phone that was beeping with some twitter love.

The night progressed as planned with Jeff and I settling in to watch a movie together which meant that soon all tooth fairy duties were forgotten.

We were mid movie when I needed a bathroom break.

“Pause it, please” I said as I jumped up and ran into our bedroom and to the bathroom.

I flipped the light on in the room and something on the bed made me stop. I walked over to investigate.

A baking pan?!

At first I was confused, why was there a baking pan on the bed? I almost gathered it up to put it away but then I saw the golden dollar and smiled. Jeff had placed the baking pan on the bed with the golden dollar in it so that he couldn’t get into bed without dealing with the pan and remembering to play tooth fairy.

Sometimes that husband of mine is completely brilliant.

I think I’ll keep him.

 

Made with Cheetah Dust

“Mommy, can I have some more Cheetos?” Jake asked as he shoved the last five on his plate into his mouth.

“How about you eat two carrots first and then you can have some more?” I said making a deal with him because it’s all about the give and take.

He sighed, looked at the carrots, looked at me, looked and the Cheetos and then crunched down on the carrot.

“Guys what are potato chips made of?” Jeff asked after a moment of silence.

Three little hands shot in the air but Hayden answered, “Potatoes!”

“What about Veggie Straws?” Jeff asked.

Again, three hands shot up in the air but this time Claire yelled, “Veggies!”

“Then who knows what Cheetos are made of?” Jeff asked.

I looked up from my plate of mac-n-cheese and hot dogs, what was he doing? Where was he going with this?

The table fell silent again as the kids pondered the question. It was Claire who broke the silence, “Potatoes?!”

Jake and Quinn voiced their agreement but Hayden shook his head, “I don’t fhink so, Claire. Daddy, are they made of cheese?”

“Yeah! The are made of cheese!” Quinn and Claire said together.

I semi-nodded and returned to eating my lunch hoping that everyone else would do the same.

“Nope, you are all wrong,” Jeff said. “They are made of cheetahs.”

Cheetos

I immediately looked up from my plate and glared at Jeff. Really, he was going to go there?

“No,” the kids said, shaking their heads.

“Yeah, look at the bag… there is a picture of a cheetah right no there. That is what they are made of because on the potato chip bag there is a potato and on the Veggie Straws there are veggies.” Jeff said, arguing his point.

Hayden grabbed the bag and studied it and being that he is 8, almost 9, he turned the bag around to try and read the ingredient list.

“Seriously, dad?!” Jake said, giving Jeff his best ‘ you are full of it’ look.

“Why else would they put a cheetah on the bag?” Jeff asked.

I sat back and listened to the conversation, rolling my eyes a few times. This was Jeff’s favorite game. Telling the kids silly things to see what they would believe. It used to be pretty easy to do. They would never question him but now as they are getting old, they are getting suspicious of him and often turn to me for verification.  If he wasn’t careful, the kids would never believe a word that came from his mouth.

“Dad.” Hayden said in his best grown up voice, “That is just a cartoon character they use for marketing.”

I choked on my drink. Seriously, where is he learn that?

“No,” Jeff answered, pushing the issue, “I think it’s because it’s because they are made of cheetahs.”

The arguing was now reaching ear piercing levels and I did what had to be done before a full out word war and food fight broke out. I grabbed the Cheetos bag from the middle of the table and read the ingredients.

“They are made from corn. Corn.” I said setting the bag back down. “Now, everyone EAT!”

I sighed as the table hushed and people chewed on their food… Yup, mom had spoken.

Jeff reached across the table and picked up the Cheetos bag. I watched him with a look that said, ‘really you are going to challenge me?’ He read the bag and then set it down.

“Ah, see when they say ‘natural and unnatural’ ingredients what they are really mean is cheetah dust.” he said.

The kids all stopped and looked at him.

“I get it now. Cheetos are mostly made of corn but are sprinkled with cheetah dust because cheetahs are so hard to catch being they are so fast and all.” He clarified.

Each child took a Cheetos in their hand and studied it. Jeff did the same and then popped it in his mouth.

“Mmm… cheetah dust.” he said as he chewed. “Yum.”

From the Moment…

From the moment you tried to kiss me but I turned to let you only kiss my cheek because that is what the ‘good girls’ the the movies did, I knew that I would marry you.

From the moment you walked around the car from your side to mine to open the door for me, I knew that I would always be treated like a princess.

From the moment you made me laugh so hard my sides ached and the tears streamed down my face, I knew that when I was with you, I would always laugh.

From the moment you looked deep into my eyes and told me, “you are the most beautiful woman in the world,” I knew that in one look you could make me feel gorgeous.

From the moment you said, “I think I love you,” I knew you did and always would.

From the moment you held me while I cried, I knew all my secrets would be safe with you.

From the moment you said, “Will you marry me?” I knew all my dreams would come true.

From the moment I told you over the phone threw broken sobs that I was pregnant, asking what I should do next and you said, “um… call the doctor?!” I knew you would be a good father.

From the moment our oldest son came out looking just like you, I knew you would help him grow to be all the best of you.

From the moment you said, “Yeah, I’m gonna need some time” and then left me standing in the parking lot, alone after finding out I was pregnant with triplets, I knew it was going to be a bumpy ride but we would be ok.

From the moment I came home and you had a list made of things we needed to be ready for triplets and had called to schedule your vasectomy, I knew, together, we could handle this.

From the moment, you sat with me in the hospital eating take-out and watching bad TV while I grew our babies, I knew that I would always been supported.

From the moment you held each one of our children in your arms, looking down at them with so much more love than I even though possible, I knew our children would never want for anything and be your top priority.

From the moment you took over from me when I was stressed out, exhausted and done after dealing with screaming children all day, I knew we would always be a team.

From the moment you crack a joke when the tension is high and the whole family bursts out in giggles, I knew our family would always find the humor in life.

From the moment the kids scream with glee as you wrestle around with them and rough house, I knew that they would always like you a little more than me and I am just fine with that.

From the moment you brought out the baking soda and vinegar to show our children science, I knew that they would always know the joy of learning new things and you would be their greatest teacher.

From the moment you kiss each child good night and say, “I love you, dork,” I knew you are the best father in the world and a true blessing.

photo (2) (1)

Happy Father’s Day

We love you.

French Kiss me, Mom!

don't french kids the mother

“What is french kissing?’ Hayden asked one evening when he was supposed to be writing his spelling words.

I stopped doing the dishes and turned to face him, “Um… um…” I stumbled.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to answer that question and there was part of me that was screaming “NO! My baby can’t be asking questions like that, he is just a baby.” My brain was trying to come up with answer but all I could think about was “Why?” Why did he want to know this?”

We have entered that stage where the children are curious about other people’s bodies and things two people can do together with their bodies.

Don’t get me wrong, they have always been curious about their own bodies, especially the boys. That hasn’t changed. I think I even have an ultrasound picture of one of the boys touching his junk in utero.

No, I am talking about the kids being curious about the bodies of the opposite sex. Since Hayden is almost 9 and the triplets are almost 6, I thought it time to enforce privacy. Everyone must go to their rooms to change clothes, we try to close doors when we pee or bathe and I no longer run through the house naked.

We need to respect each other’s privacy, especially mine, meaning I should get to change my clothes in peace. But this lesson has been a hard one to learn since when I announce that I am going to get dressed, the kids appear all wide eyed and ready for the show. They crawl up on the bed waiting anxiously with popcorn.

Um… yeah, no. Out they go.

I know this is only a natural part of growing up and it’s alright to be curious and want to see naked bodies but that is what encyclopedias, the Internet and National Geographic are for.  Not your mother. Which reminds me, I need to show Claire some pictures of naked girls because one morning while she was sitting at the table, she reached out and grabbed my crotch and announced,

“I just touched mommy’s penis!”

“Claire, I am a girl just like you. I don’t have a penis. And you don’t have a penis.” I clarified but since I said penis one too many times she just ended up in a fit of giggles. I don’t think the lesson stuck.

But I guess when she is the only girl in a house full of brothers, what does one expect? I’m sure there will be plenty of time to set her straight.

Hayden, on the other hand, has taken to these new rules of privacy. While the triplets would like nothing more than to run naked through the woods, Hayden wants to be covered up at all times. He has even asked if he could wear a bathing suit in the bathtub.

I think that is why his question about french kissing surprised me so. I didn’t think that ‘Mr Modesty’ even thought about those kind of things.

Seeing my hesitation, Jeff stepped in to answer.

“French kissing is a type of kissing that two people do. It’s not just a kiss on the lips, it’s when the two people open their mouths and touch their tongues and rub them together.” Jeff explained.

“Ew!” Hayden cringed. To be honest, I kinda did too. The way Jeff explained it, he made it sound so mechanical.

“Why would someone what to do that?” Hayden asked. “Rubbing tongues, gross.”

“When two people love each other, it is a nice way to kiss,” I tried to explain so that someday in about ten years he would want to try it so that he wouldn’t be one of those guys is who is almost 30, still living in his parent’s basement and never kissed a girl.

“Mommy and I kiss like that all the time just before we go to sleep,” Jeff add and then winked at me. “Someday it might be something you will want to try with a girl.”

Hayden shuddered again, shook his head and returned to his homework.

Soon the chaos of bath time and getting ready for bed filled the house and the french kissing conversation seemed to be long forgotten. I tucked Jake, Quinn and Claire into bed and then walked down the stairs to do the same with Hayden.

“Good night, my love,” I said as I leaned in to kiss Hayden on the forehead.

Hayden looked up at me then grabbed my face in his hands. He opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue out and went in for a kiss. I pulled away just in time not to have my mouth violated by an 8 year old’s tongue.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I love you and I was going to give you a french kiss.” he said.

I looked at him and said,

“Hayden, I love you too but… you do not french kiss your mother.”

Loves Pokemon, Loves Girls

The giggling on the play ground made me look up. I scanned the area and noticed that Hayden had befriended a little girl.

I smiled. No matter where we are, that boy always befriends the girls. They are his number one choice when it comes to a playmate. Mainly because, girls play like he does.

Hayden is not so much into the rough and tough play of boys. He doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body so sports don’t interest him, don’t get me wrong he loves a good wrestling match with his dad and brothers, but he’s just more into the imaginative play that little girls tend to do.

I love to watch my kids play. The stories they come up with are so involved and interesting. I remember playing the same way when I was their age. My neighbor friends and I used to come up with stories based on the soap operas our mom’s watched when we were supposed to ‘resting’ but really we snuck in and watched to.

But we always added princesses and princes to our stories. people fell in love with the wrong prince, stole each other’s prince, had babies and died. Then we’d all share Popsicles under the shade of the backyard tree. Oh, childhood… how I miss it.

“You know that little girl knows about Pokemon, right?” I said to Jeff as I walked up next to him.

“She doesn’t just know about Pokemon, she knows Pokemon like what they evolve into, their class and every thing,” Jeff explained, proving that he too have been watching them play.

Pokemon08- (1)

“Oh Hayden is in love!” I said. “Totally met the girl of his dreams.”

Jeff nodded and we both walked over to a near by bench to sit. We both took out our phones as the kids continued to play. Every now and again, I’d look up and do a head count. I spied Hayden, Quinn and this little girl were laying on the ground under the slide.

“Did you hear what Hayden just said?” Jeff asked

“No,” I said, looking to Jeff.

“I didn’t quite here the little girl but Hayden said, ‘You can take my pants off but my underwear is just going to far.'”

“Oh  my!” I said with a half giggle because it was kind of funny and thank God the boy had standards. “Sounds like we are going to need to have a talk with him and girls and how pants stay on.”

Jeff nodded and returned to studying his phone. He was completely unphased by this. I, on the other hand watched Hayden and this girl more. Thankfully, the talk returned once again to Pokemon and which one they were going to try and catch. They got up from under the slide and began running around.

The wind whipped around me sending a chill up my spine. I looked at my phone clock and because we had already been playing for almost 3 hours, I gave the kids a 5 minute warning that it was time to go.

“Ok guys,” I called after 3 and a half minutes. “It’s time to go.” I was cold and wanted to go. Someday they will figure me and be able to tell time and know when 5 minutes is really up but for now, I’m safe in my ending it early.

Jeff stood and ran after the Claire and Jake. Quinn bounced to my side and Hayden was still running after the little girl.

“Hayden, come on. It’s time to go!” I called.

“Aw, mom!” He yelled back.

“Sorry buddy, it’s getting cold and I need to figure out what to make for dinner. Say ‘good bye’ to your friend.” I said.

“Good bye, Ava! Good bye. And call me. Call me sometime, ok!” Hayden called after his little friend and then shouted our phone number at her.

“Oh for pete’s sake,” I thought to myself, this boy is totally smitten.

With that, Hayden ran up to my side and took my hand in his. His smile was infectious.

“Mom, when we get home, I am going to call Ava and put a white sock on my door knob so that I can dirty talk to her for a long long time,” he said with a giggle. “Mom, she was just so cool. She knows Pokemon. I really, really like her.”

In that moment, I had two thoughts. Please let ‘dirty talk’ mean talking about mud and it’s time to have a serious conversation about girls.

 

 

Reconnecting with the Family

I’ve been feeling really disconnect from Jeff and the kids lately.

Like most families, our schedules have us going in a million different directions and even though we do manage to have dinner together most nights, it’s usually just let’s shovel food at our faces as fast as we can so that we can get going with the next thing that has to be done.

The days are filled with school and the evenings are filled with homework, projects, club meetings, working and it seems like a zallion other things.

We needed some time together, time where we can just be, throw the schedule out the window and not worry about what has to be done next.

That’s why I decided that the best thing for us would be to stay at a local hotel with a pool/water slide/water park. Yup, nothing says family together time like 6 people crammed into a hotel room, all sleeping, eating and just being right on top of each other.

Oh my mommy heart was happy… that is until I tried to sleep and I remember that sleeping in a hotel room with children is hell. When I wasn’t getting kicked in the head by the child that was in the bed with me, there was a steady stream of children coming up to my bed saying things like,

“Mommy, I’m hungry” (at 2am)

“Mommy, I can’t find the bathroom”

“Mommy, this bed is not comfortable, I want a new one”

“Mommy, my legs are itchy”

“Mommy, I don’t want to sleep on this pillow, I want yours”

“Mommy, I am hot”

“Mommy, when I keep my eyes open they hurt.”

“Mommy, I tried to wake up daddy like you asked but he didn’t wake up and I didn’t want to punch him in the face because that would get me in trouble.”

Yes, sleeping in a hotel room with children is awesome (Not!). And the next time I do it, you bet your ass I am going to remember ‘sleepy time medication’ for all.

But hotel’s aren’t for sleeping. No,  they are for paying too much for room service, wondering what the person before you did in your bed and having a grand time in the pool.

And that is what we did. Well the children did… after they got over the fact that this hotel water park was nothing like Great Wolf Lodge. Apparently when I say, “Who wants to go swimming at a hotel with a pool and a water slide?” My children immediately assume that means we are going to Great Wolf Lodge.

Kid’s just don’t get the whole ‘you shouldn’t assume’ rule. And let’s face it, one water slide, a small pool and a ping pong table does not make Great Wolf Lodge.

Anyway my children did not stay disappointed for long. Armed with the hotel’s coffee which tasted like they brewed it dirt, Jeff and I sauntered down to the pool before 8am so that our children could swim. And because they are part fish, the siren song of the pool was too much for them so they were in the water before you could get clothes off a hooker.

Now I am not really one of those mom’s that enjoys being wet in the pool. I would much rather be lounging at the side of the pool getting whiplash from answering the “mommy, watch this” calls.

yeah the photos are blurry... you try and get kids at a pool to stay still long enough for a good picture

Sometimes I will get in the water. And I did go in the pool all the time when the kids were younger but not this time. It was too cold, I was too tired, and I was too busy recording memories on my phone and then sharing them all over the Internet.

Yup, we had fun. It was a quick overnight trip packed full of reconnecting and family togetherness.  So much so that  I am ready for every one to go back to school/work so that tomorrow I can take a nap.

There’s Something Wrong in the Bathroom

My phone beeped as I was finishing up the last bit of paper work before I could leave for home. The day hadn’t been horrible just a few spots here and there that were interesting. People that are interesting usually have issues and those issues create paperwork.

I found my phone and checked it. There was a message from Jeff waiting.

“There is something wrong in the bathroom?”

I was confused by this message but then another one quickly came across the screen.

“The kids have been fed, jammas on and the kitchen is clean. Just need you to come home and kiss them good night.”

My heart melted and there was a little twinge in my lady parts. That man sure does know just what to say (and do) to guarantee he will get lucky.

I smiled to myself but then the curiously about the bathroom smacked me. I stopped my sexy day dream and texted back,

“Awesome.”

“What is up with the bathroom?”

My work phone on my hip rang and I turned to answer it. There was a patient in the hospital not doing well. I dropped every thing and ran to help.

In a blink of an eye, I was now an hour over due at home. Nothing speeds up time like trying to keep a patient from dying. I quickly answered a few questions from my co-worker taking over, gathered my belongings and headed home.

I had forgotten all about mine and Jeff’s previous text messaging exchange until my phone beeped.

“The kids say goodnight.”

Then there was a quick video of my babies screaming “GOOOOOOOD NIIIIIIGHTTT, MOMMMEEEEE!”

I smiled.

I found my keys and started the car. Then I remembered the bathroom. I quickly send Jeff a message.

“What is wrong with the bathroom?”

I set my phone down next to me and put the car in drive.

The drive home my phone didn’t beep, ring or vibrate. Would this mean that I was about to come home to a big mess? Did one of the kids try to flush a t-shirt down the toilet? Or did my greatest fear happen and our septic tank explode?

I pondered all the possibilities but in the end decided to crank up the radio and live in denial. Whatever waited for me at home could wait, I was going to pretend that I was a pop star and sing.

I turned the last corner and saw the outside lights on at the house. I like that Jeff puts those lights on for me. He always does that when I get home when it’s dark. Just like the old notion, when someone you love is not yet home, leave the light on for them so they can find their way.

“Ok, hit me,” I said as I walked in the house and closed the door behind me, “What is wrong with the bathroom.”

Jeff looked up from his computer, confused.

“Your text, it said something in the bathroom was wrong. What is broken? What do we need to fix now?” I explained.

He turned his attention to the computer, which was my clue that he needed a minute to finish something and I took that opportunity to put my stuff away and go and kiss my soundly sleep babies.

“Well,” he began, “I went to help the kids brush their teeth and tuck them in bed. While we were in the bathroom, I looked down at the toilet and there was no fermenting turd in there.”

“Fermenting turd?” I echoed.

“Yeah, you know. Come on, you can’t tell me you haven’t seen it.” Jeff said, “You know that one kid gets up in the middle of the night and pinches off a big loaf and then leaves it there in the toilet to ferment all day long.”

“Ok yes,” I answered. “I know what you are talking about, I guess.”

“What do you think happened to it?” he asked.

“Maybe, just maybe they learned to flush the toilet?!” I answered him, “That or they need more fiber in their diets.”

“Perhaps,” Jeff said and turned his attention back to his computer.

“But I have to know, was the bathroom light on or off?” I asked.

It was now Jeff’s turn to look at me confused, “On.”

“Ok then there you go,” I began, “When I find said turds in the toilet it’s always in a dark bathroom so we can either have the toilet flushed and the bathroom lights on or the bathroom lights off and a fermenting turd waiting for us but not both. They are only children. “