Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Worst Bath Ever...

I'm just now getting around to uploading these pictures. The bath actually took place a couple of months ago. We usually bathe the babies one or two at a time, but this night we got a wild hair. We thought that we would try to put all of the babies in the tub at once. I'll just let the pictures tell the story.
Drew was in first and happy as a little clam. He always loves bath time!

Izzie did not like being splashed by Drew

So we put Paige in between them.
She was really only interested in trying to drink the bath water.

We put Julia in and had one brief moment of peace.

Then Izzie began crying...

which made everyone start crying.

Julia and Izzie screaming

Paige trying to make a break for it!

Will couldn't take the noise any longer!!
Needless to say, we still bathe the babies one or two at a time. Lesson learned.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Will Says the Darndest Things...(part 2)

Will is a constant source of amusement. I swear I don't know where he comes up with the things he does. Here are some more Will gems...
On Wednesday, he asked me all day long when his teeth were going to fall out. He said he wanted to put them under his pillow so that the tooth fairy would change them into money. I told him that he had to wait a few years, but I guess he couldn't wait that long. That night I went up to tuck him in and found Mr. Potato Head's teeth stuck under his pillow. He was hoping to trick the tooth fairy! Too funny!
This is really more of a "bad Mommy" story, but on Thursday he and I went through the bank drive through after his swim lesson. Now, the drive through lanes have the right of way pulling out and cross traffic has a stop sign. After we completed our transaction, I pulled out and nearly hit a car that hadn't stopped. I yelled, "You have a stop sign, a**hole!" Will immediately asked what I had called that man. I said, "I am so sorry. Mommy should not have said that." He asked, "Why is it bad to call people "apples"? I certainly wasn't going to correct what he had misheard. I just said, "You shouldn't call people apples. It's not nice."
Then today (Friday), my friend Cathy stopped over with her sons. She introduced Will to her oldest boy Isaac. The entire time they were here, Will called Isaac "Ice Age." I think that I need to get that boys ears checked. He really does make me laugh every day...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Coney has it!

My niece Taylor is a very talented singer and dancer, and this summer she got a job performing at Coney Island. All summer I have wanted to get over there and see her, but was overwhelmed at the idea of taking all 5 kiddos. This past Sunday, her Mom, my SIL Laura, called and offered to go along with us with her husband and other children. There is safety in numbers, so I figured this was going to be my best chance and jumped at her offer. Being last minute and somewhat rushed, there were some glitches (no formula for the babies...), but overall it was a wonderful day. The weather was perfect. Warm enough, but still comfortable. Not quite overcast, but not too sunny. We had a great time!!
I was afraid of being "that aunt", so I didn't take too many pictures of her performing, and then none came out! This is the best one I have. She is the blonde-- not a great picture, but she did a wonderful job. I am so proud of her!

Here is the whole crew. Rodney, Will, me, Daniel, Laura, Taylor, Ana, Ed and the babies. Unfortunately, Daniel's twin brother Evan wasn't feeling well and didn't come with us.

Taylor and the Lachmanns

Will loved the rides. He rode the airplanes with Ana.

The rockets by himself.

But his favorite was the canoe with Daddy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mom's Overnighter

This past Saturday was my multiples group's Mom's Overnighter. I didn't stay at the hotel overnight, but I went and spent the afternoon with the ladies. We had a wonderful time! It is always great when we can get together and relax. After lunch we all went to visit Michelle, our member who was in the car accident, at the rehab center. She was so happy to see everyone! I know that it was painful for her to sit up in the wheelchair, but she wanted us to stay as long as possible. I think it was really good for her to see all of us and get out in the fresh air. just to know that we are thinking of her and wish she could be with us.
The ladies with Michelle at Drake Rehab Center
Then we all went out to dinner at Bravo's.
The food was delicious, the service was great and the company couldn't be beat!

Here is a group picture of all of us ladies after dinner.
These twenty women are responsible for 76 children!
It was a fun night and a much needed break. So much fun to spend time with women who have been in your shoes and truly understand what you do each day. I am lucky to be a part of this group of amazing ladies. They have made this crazy last year and a half since we found out about the quads bearable--still crazy, but bearable. Maybe even enjoyable.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Enjoy the Silence

Well, it's night and all five kiddos are asleep. The house is full of that beautiful silence that can only be heard after a day of noise. Lots of noise. The babies are all chatty. Sitting babbling to themselves, me, each other, the dog... You get the idea. Lots of babbling. Will has always been a big talker. Talk loudly, talks a lot. Our priest, Father Mario, tells him that since he likes to talk so much he should become a priest. Today, though, was even more than usual. During his entire swim lesson he talked to Nick and Luke, the other little boys in the class. He talked to his teacher Laura. He would bob up and down in the pool yelling "Mommy! Look at me!" every time his little head appeared over the edge. When my husband got home from work this evening, Will began rambling on at such length (and volume) that finally Rod was forced to ask Will if he could be quiet for two minutes. Will looked at him quizzically, said yes, then continued talking. When bed time came around, he cried saying he wasn't tired and didn't want to go to bed. Rod carried him upstairs and he was out cold in less that five minutes. All that talking must be exhausting.
We have some friends in town and they called asking if we could get together tonight. Rod asked me if I wanted to invite them over. We already have plans to see them tomorrow, but I would like to see them tonight as well. However, if we have them over this evening, I will need to straighten up the house and maybe brush my hair. Nuisances, but what really made me send Rod out for a beer at a local bar with them, was I'm not willing to give up my silence. It has been another loud, long, crazy week and I made it through. I just want to sit and enjoy the silence. I have earned this silence. Peace.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Will Says the Darndest Things...

The problem with posting during their afternoon naps is that assumes they all take their afternoon nap. Generally, yes. Yesterday, no. Well, today the morning nap was a disaster, so all five kids are down and should stay down for a while. I've already folded a bunch of laundry, put more in and now I'm taking a break to write before the dreaded bottle duty- yuck. I hate washing and making bottles. The babies are only about 8 weeks from a year and I swear I want to have a bottle burning party when we are finally finished with those things. I am fed up with dealing with bottles!!

Well, Will is a very sweet adorable boy, but he is also wild and rambunctious. There are days I have trouble remembering why we haven't sold him yet. Then he reminds me... From time to time he will come out with the sweetest, funniest, most oddball comments. He drives me crazy most days, but makes me laugh every day. He has asked several times why we had four babies when most families only have one at a time. I always tell him we were "extra blessed." Yesterday morning I was looking at some pictures online of triplets a mother in my group just had. He walked up behind me, saw the screen and yelled, "Look Mommy! That lady was extra blessed too!" How sweet is that? It reminded me of the first time he saw triplets a few months before and he asked me that lady only had three babies. I explained that three is a lot too and that most women have one at a time. I told him that when I had him I only had one baby. His mouth dropped open. He clearly had not considered this yet and was very shocked! What a funny little guy!
Today we were at his swim lessons and he had to take a potty break in the middle. I walked him down the hallway to the restroom. After he had gone, we were walking back to the pool and passed the gymnasium. The girls volleyball team was practicing in there. He stopped by the open door and I told him to hurry up, we had to get back to the pool. He said, "Hold on, I want to look at the girls a little longer." Wow! He isn't even four yet! I thought that I had longer before I had to try and control his hormones. God help me when that boy is fourteen!
Sometimes a comment like these makes all the difference in a day. I can be having a terrible day and in a lousy mood. Then Will says something that makes me laugh and I can shake off the rest. In some ways, handling the quads is more difficult with a toddler, but in other ways, he really does help me. He can put me in a good mood or just remind me that one day these babies will be able to do a lot of things for themselves and I will actually miss doing everything-- well maybe.

Monday, July 13, 2009

My little fish!

Okay. I haven't done well with keeping up with this lately. I think that my problem has been that I was trying to write after the babies were in bed. By that time, I just want to sit down for a little bit, get some things straightened up, maybe even spend a little time with the hubby then go to sleep. I'm trying nap time. I think the odds of writing something are a little better this way. We'll see...

So, today was Will's first swim lesson. Technically, the kids are supposed to be 4 to start lessons. Will doesn't turn 4 until August 8, but there are no more lessons offered after then. The instructor made an exception for Will so that he wouldn't have to wait until next summer to start. He was so cute!! He has been excited about these swim lessons since I signed him up a few weeks ago. The lessons are at my and my husband's old high school, Scott High. He thought he was super cool going to Mommy and Daddy's high school. Today was really just an assessment to see where he was. If you had asked me last night, I could have pretty accurately predicted how today would go. Will has always been strong and athletic. I knew that he would have no trouble with the swimming part. Will's issue is more about focus. Tyler was the young man's name who took Will into the water to see how he'll do. Will was great! He got right into the water with Tyler, put his face in and blew bubbles, he even went under water quickly with him. Mommy was so proud!! Then Tyler showed Will how to kick his feet and stroke his arms. He supported Will while he crossed the pool a few times "freestyle." The entire time, Will's head was straight up and his mouth was going a mile a minute. "What is that? What does it do? My Daddy went to school here. Do you go to school here? Why do you go to school here? What is that sound?..." You get the idea. If we can get Will to actually focus on the lesson, he could learn a lot and be a decent swimmer at the end of the 2 week session. I'm not banking on it, but I think he's going to have a lot of fun!

Tyler helped Will get used to the water

Tyler shows him freestyle

And off they went!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Better Day...

I didn't post anything yesterday, but that was intentional. It was not a day I want to remember. My husband is out of town with work for a few days, so I am on my own. The day went pretty well, no major mishaps, but bedtime was a complete meltdown. I ended up being the crazy, screaming Mom to my crazy, screaming three year old. By the time I got him to sleep, I was so worked up, I couldn't think straight. I hate losing my temper. Now when I have a bad night like that, on top of feeling guilty for yelling at Will, I also have to worry about how on Earth I am going to survive four three year olds at once. God help me.
Today was a better day. I woke up hearing the babies chattering in the nursery instead of crying for me. This is like waking up to birds singing. A Mom's ideal wake-up call. Will slept in a bit and woke up in a much better mood than he went down. All five kids were in pretty good moods all day. For a couple of weeks now, I have been trying to show the babies how to wave Hello and Goodbye. Well, as of today, Drew and Izzie are waving. They are so cute. They realized that they had an impressive trick and waved all afternoon. Just sitting there laughing and waving. In the evening, my sister Sara came over to help out with the kids. She is wonderful with the babies and it is great having an extra set of hands around. It was also nice having some adult conversation after the kids were in bed. Everyone went down peacefully tonight-- Praise God!
Isn't it amazing how one night can make such a difference? I went to bed last night a frustrated, angry woman, feeling like the World's Worst Mom. Now approximately 24 hrs later, I feel like the luckiest Mom in the World. I have five amazing, gorgeous kids who make me laugh every single day. My laundry is piled up and my son watched more tv today than he should have, but overall we are a happy family. I know that in the coming years, I will have more days like yesterday where I consider running away and never coming home, but I hope they can always be followed by a day like today. A day where things run along smoothly, and I feel like I not only can do this, I might even be pretty good at it. I am blessed to have this wonderful family and so thankful for the opportunity to raise the best kids in the world!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

In the Beginning...

So today a mother in my multiples group gave birth to triplets. Stacie Miller gave birth to three boys, Carter, Nolan and Austin. So far Mom and babies are all doing well. This got me remembering my miraculous delivery. I thought that this would be a good chance to write about the quads arrival.
As my big boy grew up, I began to worry about him being an only child. As the 5th of 8 children, I couldn't even imagine growing up with out a sibling. Someone to go through all of your stages with who completely understands who you are.
Rod and I went back to the same fertility specialist who helped us conceive Will. On January 28, 2008 we went to Dr. Awadalla's office for the insemination. Two weeks later, I took a home pregnancy test which came back positive. I went to the dr.'s for a blood test which also came back positive. On February 20th, Rod and I went in for my 6 wk ultrasound. Dr. Awadalla was friendly as usual, making small talk. Once the ultrasound appeared on the screen, however, the room fell silent. He removed the probe and said, "There are definitely more than one embryo." I asked how many and didn't even recognize Rod's voice when he answered, "Four." Dr. A switched off the monitor and said, "Yes, there are four. Get dressed and we'll talk in my office." As I got dressed, Rod and I looked at each other. No words were needed. That one look said, "Oh my God! What have we done?!?" If we thought that we were nervous and scared then, we had no idea what was coming. Dr. A explained that quadruplets are extremely high risk and told us that we needed to discuss selective reduction. When I told him that we wouldn't consider that, he pressed harder telling us that by choosing not to reduce, we were choosing to likely lose all four babies. By this point I was hysterical and Rod was furious. We left the office, but couldn't go anywhere yet. We sat in the lobby outside of the office, me crying, Rod trying to convince me that everything was going to be fine. After a week of sleepless nights, I began to accept the idea. I knew that this would be a difficult pregnancy, but I was ready to face it. Then on March 6, we had my 8 wk ultrasound. All four babies had grown, had strong heartbeats and looked good. It was official, we were having quadruplets!!
A quad pregnancy isn't your normal pregnancy. At 14 wks, I began going to the dr. weekly for cervix measurements. At 16 wks, we found out that we were having 3 girls and 1 boy. At 18 wks, I had to quit my job and stay home on full time bed rest. I began going to the dr. twice a week for NSTs and ultrasounds. I was extremely fortunate. My pregnancy was much easier than most quads'. The babies and I all tolerated the pregnancy very well. I was able to stay home with Rod and Will until 30 wks and 5 days. At that ultrasound, the babies hadn't grown enough since their last ultrasound, so I was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital to monitor me and the babies. Still, we all hung in there a while longer. My goal was 34 weeks. I made it that far and the dr.s began to get nervous that something was going to go wrong with me or the babies, so they scheduled my ultrasound for Monday September 8, 2008.
Dr. Lambers did my c-section that morning. It was absolutely amazing to watch those four babies pulled out one at a time. Everyone was doing well, but they went to the NICU for 2 wks to learn how to eat. Here are the pictures from their first day in the NICU.

Isabella Rose 3lb 12oz

Julia Kay 3lb 6 oz

Andrew Douglas 4 lb 4oz

Paige Judith 4lb 5oz
It is still amazing to look at these pictures. I forget how tiny they were. As crazy as that summer was, these four precious miracles made it worth every day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Happy 4th of July!!

I hope that everyone had a happy Fourth of July! We had a great day. We started the day off going to the parade in Edgewood. This is my hometown where I grew up. They have always had a good parade. Last year when I was on bed rest is the only time that I can remember missing it. The kids loved the parade and the babies got to meet some neighbors and friends from my childhood. We watched the parade with Aunt Sara, Grandma and Grandpa Kluthe, and Joanna, Patrick, Alex and Kate Lonneman. The kids collected tons of candy and seemed to truly enjoy themselves. We had a great time!!

Then we came home to eat lunch and put the kids down for naps. In the afternoon, we went to our local parade for the city of Independence. Unfortunately, just before the parade began, it started to rain and has continued to rain all day. We didn't let a little rain dampen our spirits! The parade went on anyway and we enjoyed ourselves. The kids finally got to meet Amy Mullins. She is the quad-Mom who first introduced me to Tri-State Multiples. She has GGBG quads as well, but hers are twelve. It was interesting having the kids meet- she and her husband were remembering when theirs were still little and I was blown away imagining that mine will one day be so grown-up. Unfortunately, I was having camera troubles so I don't have any pictures, but we had a great time at the parades.

The rain did manage to cancel the fireworks planned for this evening- actually, they were only postponed until tomorrow. Our friend Josh is in from Alabama with his sons Kenton(7) and Owen (3). We were all planning to go to the fireworks together. Since the display was rained out, we just had them over. The boys had a great time playing together. You can see from the picture below that the boys enjoyed raiding Will's costume basket. They were quite the crime-fighting trio.

Owen (green Power Ranger), Kenton (Iron Man) and Will (Spider Man)

The quadruplets first Fourth of July was quite a success. We may have been rained out, but that just stretched our day into an entire weekend. So tomorrow we will go see the firework display and complete our Fourth of July celebration. I want to extend a big Thank You! to all of our service men and women who defend our freedom!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Some pics of the crew

I wanted a nice, quiet day and that was just what I got. Since tomorrow is the 4th of July, my hubby was home for the day. This should mean that the family gets to spend all day together, but ended up meaning that each of us gets some time out of the house by ourselves. I, unfortunately, spent my time at the Dr.'s and Rod got out with some friends. The kids all stayed home all day with nothing too exciting to report. Oh well, we plan to try to hit 2 parades followed by a grill out and fireworks tomorrow, so we have plenty of family time coming our way. Thought I would post some pics of the crew.

The babies have taken to bolting to the door as soon as it is opened. This is the back door off of the family room where they spend most of their time. It is also how we let the dog out, so any time we go to let Stella out, they make a break for it. This was clearly Stella's morning trip out since the babies are still in their pajamas. I can just imagine them yelling, "Freedom!!!"

Here is my big boy, Will, helping with the dishes. He loves to "help" when it means he gets to play in the water for a while. In case you're wondering, I have no idea why his pants are down.

Here are Mommy's little inmates. This is the gate between the kitchen and the family room. If I go to make food or wash dishes, my little posse gathers at the gate to watch and/or cry and yell for me.

Well, like I said, not too much going on today. All of the kids are asleep and the hubby is out, so I'm going to go relax and enjoy a quiet house. I'm considering posting some of our back story, so watch for that. Hope everyone has a happy and safe Fourth of July!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I blew it already?!?!

Well, that was very impressive. I made it exactly one day of writing daily before I blew it. My commitment is astounding! My excuse for not writing yesterday is I went to my monthly Mom's Night Out. I belong to Tri-State Multiples. It is a support organization for parents of higher order multiple- triplets or more. It is such an amazing group of women. We are a diverse group, but we are all connected by our experience of raising multiples. Shortly after finding out I was carrying quads, I was put in touch with Amy Mullins, a local quad Mom, and she introduced me to the group. It was just what I needed. At the time I was so frightened about everything that was ahead. I didn't know if I could get through the pregnancy, and if I did, what then? These women shared their stories and convinced me that I would be able to do this. They are always available for questions, advice or just to listen. Recently, one of our members, Michelle Ranes, was in a terrible car accident. She will be hospitalized for months while she recovers. The speed and passion with which these ladies jumped to her aide was beautiful. Meals are being taken to her house. Money is being raised to help with bills. One of the ladies is an accountant and she is helping her husband figure out all of their financial needs right now. It is absolutely amazing to see these ladies step up for one of our own. I am very lucky to have each of these women in my life. The difference they have made on my wild ride is immeasurable.

Okay. This was officially yesterday's post, so I will write more tonight. I'm getting back on the wagon and this time I will behave! Well, we'll see.