Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Heart Baby Einstein!

Okay, so my older boy sometimes watches PBS Kids in the morning, but when the cartoons are on, the babies barely notice. None of them really pay any attention. This weekend, I just needed a little time without a child pulling on my leg. I popped in an old Baby Einstein Video (yes it was actually a video tape it was so old) from when Will was a baby. Well, I had a solid half hour to clean the kitchen without a peep from the crew. This could be dangerous. I need to be strong and not use this crutch- Well, not too often...

The babies. Amazed by Baby Einstein.

Friday, August 28, 2009

We Take on the Children's Museum!

Now that summer is coming to an end, my sister Joanna and I have realized that our time with Will and Alex before they start preschool is winding down. She called this morning and suggested a trip to the Cincinnati Children's Museum. The museum is wonderful and from our driveway to the parking lot is less than 20 minutes. They have hands on activities the children love. Will and Alex could spend all day there. They have an area reserved for children under 3, and within that an area for crawlers. The quads and Joanna's Kate (15 mos) got to run free in there for a little while. Joanna and I took turns staying with the little ones and going to the bigger exhibits with the older kids. Then, we loaded the little ones into their strollers and took a last stroll through all of the different areas before leaving.
I swear that one day I am actually going to remember to charge the camera battery. Today, however, I took the camera only to have it shut down shortly into our day due to a dead battery. Oh, well. I got some good pictures first...
The babies ready to take on this toddler's area

Will helps Drew get settled in.

My kids all loved the bar on the mirrored wall.




Joanna with all 4 little girls. Kate, Izzie, Julia and Paige. Sorry about the expression Joanna, but I love the pic of all the girls climbing on you.

Will playing at one of the hands on exhibits.

Joanna helps Will and Alex assemble a fish skeleton.

Well, we had a great time at the museum and now that we are home all 5 kids are asleep. That's my idea of a successful outing!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Uh Oh! Someone Conquered a New Skill

Well, it actually started yesterday. The babies were playing in the family room and I was in the kitchen getting Will his breakfast. Will yelled, "Mom! Look at Julia!" I turn around and see my sweet little Julia standing on the blue seat! Yep, she has been the first baby to manage to climb on to any furniture. The blue seat has an ottoman which sits maybe 1-2 inches lower than the chair, so she was able to pull herself on to it. She may not be my strongest baby, but she is the tallest. Height does have its advantages. Since she has discovered this skill, any time the babies are in the family room, which is most of the time, she wants to get up on the seat. She loves to sit on the blue seat as though it is her throne. She sits up there looking down on the other babies and babbling to them. She is definitely quite proud of herself. Of course, the problem is after you get up, you have to get down. She wanted to get down yesterday and, since I was right next to her in case I needed to catch her, I let her try to figure it out for herself. She tentatively tried to stick her feet down, but realized it wasn't working. I was so proud when she rolled onto her belly and eased herself backward down to the floor. So, no headers to the floor yet, but I am still not happy with this new skill. One more thing for Mommy to worry about!! What's next?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Will's Birthday Party

Yes, I am a bad Mommy and a bad blogger. I have intended to post pics of Wills bday party, but never seemed to get around to it. Well, I have to get these posted before we have the babies' party. No more slacking!
Back on August 9, we had Will's birthday party at Totter Otterville. We had a great time! They started off playing in the grocery store room. Alex was the cashier of course. That is her dream job when she grows up-- a grocery store cashier. Hey, you gotta have goals!!

Zach bought some things for Karen Bennett

Will and Zach bought out the whole place--he's seen me grocery shop before!!
There was a fabulous infant room the babies loved. The entire thing was padded and baby proof. They had complete reign over the place. I told Rod we need to deck out the playroom like this.

Paige and Drew

Julia and Izzie

Then they had a puppet show and the puppets sang Happy Birthday to Will.

Next we moved on to the Firehouse Room for the party. It was great! They had real firetrucks in there the kids got to play with, while dressed like real firefighters!
They even had enough highchairs for all the babies

Alex gets in her gear

Emily is ready to go!

Huck and Max work the light bars.

Malcolm gets a turn at the lights

The kids get ready for pizza, cake and ice cream. Yum!!

Will with his Cars cake

My big boy had a wonderful day celebrating his birthday. I'm so happy we all got to wish him a happy birthday. I am so proud of the boy he is growing up to be!! I love you Will!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Party Planning and Pictures

So, the Lachmann family is in full-on party planning mode. Only a few weeks until the babies' first birthday party. That has been taking up a lot of my time and brain, so I'll post some funny pictures of my crew.

Yeah, we need to switch out this baby gate. That's our Izzie! She is the fearless leader of the crew.

Izzie again! She loves to climb into the swing on her own and swing.

The babies are sitting right next to a low, half wall between the family room and the kitchen. My husband (isn't it always the husband's fault?) left a bag of pretzels sitting on the wall. I have no evidence of who actually pulled the bag down, but review the 2 previous pictures and you'll figure out who my guess is. They were so cute hands and mouths full and so excited!

Oh yeah, that Will is quite a stud! The fashion risks are very bold!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What's a QuadMom to Do?

So I just need to vent a little. I am always of two minds over what I am supposed to do about boring everyday errands. It is a pain in the butt to load up 5 kids, get everyone in their car seats, make sure the quad stroller is in the van, and this is just to leave the driveway. I know that it is hard, but isn't that just part of being a Mom? I mean I know they are trivial errands, but I remember really enjoying going to the store with my Mom. It isn't always practical for me to wait until I have a babysitter to do anything. And besides, it doesn't seem fair how much time the babies have to spend at home. Finally, I really want to have a normal family. Normal families go to the store and the post office and other things like that. I know that it isn't normal to have four babies at once, but guess what? That's what I got. I don't want them to grow up thinking them being quads is a nuisance to me or something to hide.
I realize that I am beginning to ramble, but this was an issue for me today. My Wonderful Aunt Connie comes by once or twice a week and lets me get out and get things done. She is on vacation this week. Well, I can't just stay in for an entire week. Also, I have things I have to get done. Today, I needed to pick up a few things from Staples. I loaded in the whole crew and we were on our way. One good thing about Staples is they have shopping carts. This way, I can put the babies in their stroller and push that while pulling a cart with Will sitting in it. The bad thing about Staples is their average employee is a 20ish man. I know that this is a generalization, but young men are pretty much terrified to see a Mom with 5 kids. They avoided me like the plague. I had to ask a question about some card stock and when I finally tracked down a young man, I could see him glancing nervously from me to the babies and back. I felt like promising him I wasn't going to ask him to hold a baby.
This is just a Mom complaint, singleton or quad. They had no changing stations in the bathroom. There is no excuse for this. I guess being an office supply store, they figure their clients don't need them, but I am a mother and I have spent thousands of dollars there buying supplies for my husband's business and supplies for myself and the house. Every public place should have at least one diaper changing station. Just had to be said.
My final complaint (for the minute), is comments from other people. I realize that we are sort of a spectacle, but like I asked, am I supposed to hide my children from public view because I have quadruplets? I usually adopt the ignore and keep moving or the smile, nod and keep moving tactic. They typically work pretty well, but occasionally I get an annoying person. Today we came across a teenage boy and his mother. The boy saw my kids and said, "look at all those babies!" This got my ignore and keep moving response. I was fine with him, but his Mom came running after us and asked, "How did that happen?" What am I supposed to say here? I guess she was asking if we underwent fertility treatments. Or maybe she didn't understand the whole sperm and egg thing? Either way I didn't think this was an appropriate conversation to have in the office supply store. I just stared at her for a moment until she said, "I've never seen four before." I simply said, "Yes, weren't we blessed", smiled and kept moving.
Sorry to blurt all of that out, I know it barely makes sense. I just don't know if the positives outweigh the negatives. When should I take the babies out with me and when do I just wait until I can go without them? I have had a lot of good outings with them, but today was not so great. I'm sure in a day or two, I will feel like taking them out again, but not right now. So talk to me multiples Moms. Do you take your crew out with you? Do you wait? Do you only take a few? Looking for any input. Thanks!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Will!!!!

It is completely and totally unbelievable, yet it is true. My first little baby is four years old today. August 8, 2005 is one of a few sacred days permanently etched on my brain. It actually started on Sunday the 7th. I was 11 days (yes, you read that correctly 11 days) past due. Rod and I were up and getting ready for his family reunion. We were sitting in our bed talking. When I got up, I realized that there was a small wet spot under me. I mean really small. Maybe the size of a half dollar. I pointed it out to Rod and asked him what he thought. Why I was asking the one person more clueless than me, I have no idea. Well, he said it doesn't look like much, let's just wait and see. At this point I was having NSTs every couple of days and my Dr. had already scheduled an induction for Wednesday the 10th. I had a couple more small wet spots that day, but figured I would just ask the nurse at my NST the next day. We went ahead and went to his family reunion. Yes, we went to his family reunion with my water broken-- completely clueless. I went to my test the next morning and told the nurse what I had experienced. She had me go see the Dr. so he could test the fluid and see what it was. Of course it was amniotic fluid, so he sent me to the hospital. Rod wasn't even with me, I had to call him and have him come meet me. The crazy thing is, at this point I was 12 days past due, my water had broken, and I still wasn't having any contractions. I am telling you, without pitocin, I would have a giant 4 year old inside of me today. He was not budging. This bode very well for my quad pregnancy. I carried quads 34 weeks and 2 days with few contractions and at my c-section I was still only dilated 1-2 cm. I can't get pregnant, but I can stay pregnant.
Anyway, back to Will. They started me on a pitocin drip and the contractions started. They started getting a little stronger, but I thought, "This isn't that bad. I can handle this." Besides, I was terrified of the epidural needle. The contractions continued growing until I had a really big one and gush!! I was told that what had happened was I had a "high tear" in the sac, meaning it had torn up above the baby's head, so the head was blocking most of the fluid from coming out. The big contraction had finished the tear and now everything was coming out. Well, in our childbirth classes, the nurse had said that labor is less painful with the water cushioning the baby's head against your cervix. The lady did not lie. Things changed quickly. I was no longer at all afraid of the epidural needle. If they had had to shoot me with a gun, I wouldn't have cared. I just wanted relief!
I loved my epidural!! It was wonderful! I could still feel the contractions, but they no longer hurt-- a miracle! Soon after, I made it to 10 cms. I began pushing, and pushed, and pushed, and pushed... Dr. Gerwe mentioned forceps, but I hated the idea of my baby's head being squashed between salad tongs! I pushed, and pushed, and pushed... Finally, it had been nearly 3 hrs. Dr. Gerwe told me at 3 hrs, my options were forceps or a c-section. I agreed to the forceps. They upped my epidural, and told me to give a big push and keep pushing! I did and out came the most beautiful baby I had ever laid eyes on. He was perfect! A couple of marks from the forceps, but perfect. Mommy was not so good. I was told I had a 3rd and 1/2 degree tear. At the time (I'm not sure if he still does), Will had the largest head Dr. Gerwe had ever delivered vaginally. Not a record any woman wants to hold.
They cleaned him up and put him on my chest. There are simply no words for this moment. My heart began to swell so strongly with love that my chest actually ached for a bit. In that moment, I knew that I could never love anything more than this precious child. I would die or kill for him without a second thought. I looked over at my handsome husband and realized that this forever changed our relationship also. By this time we had been married 5 years and loved each other very much, but to bring a life into the world that is half him and half me-- that added a whole new dimension to us.
I love that each of my deliveries is so special. There is nothing like a quadruplet c-section, but there is also nothing like the birth of your first child. Two of the greatest days of my life. Happy Birthday William James!!!
August, 2005

August 8, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Meet the Lachmanns!

I was just chatting with my sister about how interesting it is to watch the kids develop their own unique personalities. While I'm sure they are more alike than just 5 random strangers, they definitely are beginning to distinguish themselves. I'll describe our lovely children and include some favorite photos.

William James- born 8/8/05 at 41w5d weighing 8lb 5oz
Will was named after his 2 Grandfathers. My Father is named William and my Father-in-Law is James.
Our big boy Will is absolutely full of life. He is smart and funny. Everyone knows when he walks in a room. He is still working on self control (I think most preschool boys are), but he genuinely tries to be a good boy. I always say he drives me crazy most days, but makes me laugh every day. His questions and observations about life crack me up and make me see the world from his perspective.
He is very handsome. Everybody comments on how pretty his eyes are. He has big blue eyes fringed in long black eyelashes. He has dimples he flashes with his wicked grin. He is tall and thin just like his Daddy. He is strong and athletic- he loves all sports and is just now getting to the age where he can play competitively. He took swim lessons this summer and starts soccer in a couple of weeks.
We sometimes think we made a mistake naming him Will because he is so strong willed. He is a very determined boy. This can make it difficult sometimes, but I think that ultimately it will serve him well. He is 100% boy! He loves cars, dinosaurs, big construction vehicles, Spiderman... All of the little boy things.
Aunt Connie and Uncle Mark gave Will a bug playground. He went out back and caught two crickets (which he thought were grasshoppers) and named them Jumpy and Hopper. They were released a few days later and we have since had many Jumpys and Hoppers.

He loves running around in his underwear and he loves costumes.
This picture combines both loves.

Will with Daddy at the Children's concert from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Isabella Rose-Born 9/8/08 at 34w2d weighing 3lb 12oz
Isabella was given her middle name in honor of my sister Karen Rose. The quads were born on Aunt Karen's birthday.
Izzie is the firstborn of the quads and takes her role very seriously. She is the leader of the pack. We affectionately call her "Nosy Rosey" because if she hears anything from any of the other babies, she will crane her little neck around to see who is doing what. Hopefully, you saw in the last post that she is our first quad to walk! That's our Izzie. She shares her big brother's determination.
She is adorable. She looks exactly like my Mother, her Grandma Kluthe. I have my Mom's 6 mo. picture and it is like looking at a black and white picture of Izzie. She has a sweet little round face and big blue eyes. She is generally a happy baby and has a wonderful laugh. When she is not happy, however, she makes sure that everyone knows. Her scream is so awful, so bloodcurdling, that we have named it, "The Isabellow."

Trying on her big brother's armor
Julia Kay- Born 9/8/08 at 34w2d weighing 3lb 6oz
Julia was given her middle name in honor of my Mom, Mary Kay.
She was born the smallest and she still has a very dainty way about her. She is our "little lady." She is sweet and sensitive. She is always smiling and usually laughing. Even from a very early age, she was able to content herself. I could leave her in a bouncy seat or swing and come back to find her happy as a little clam just sitting, playing with her feet and laughing to herself. Because of this, I have to be careful to still give her plenty of attention.
Physically she is furthest from walking, but was one of the first to crawl. She is the tallest and the skinniest of all the quads. Julia looks a lot like her big brother Will. She shares his big blue eyes, long black eyelashes and dimples.

Andrew Douglas- Born 9/8/08 at 34w2d weighing 4 lb 4oz
Andrew got his middle name from his Father, Rodney Douglas.
Drew is huge. He has 5 lbs on his sisters. The funny thing about this is that the girls push him around. They get him in a corner and won't let him out. They take his toys. He doesn't even try to fight back or defend himself. He just lies there and cries. He also has no idea of his dimensions. He is constantly getting stuck in spaces and once again just lies there and cries. He is so lovable, but completely pitiful.
He is 100% Mama's boy. He is a little lover and gladly cuddles with anyone, but if he sees me or even hears my voice, only Mama will do. I'm taking all the loving now, because Will was like that for the first year or so, then I was unceremoniously dumped somewhere around 18mos. when he decided that his Daddy was absolutely the coolest thing going. I'm taking the adoration for as long as I can.
Physically he is tall and heavy. He has a sweetie pie face that makes him impossible to resist. He is our biggest fusser, but super sweet and loving.
Once again stuck. This time under an Exersaucer.

He really likes swimming in Aunt Laura's pool.

Paige Judith- Born 9/8/08 at 34w2d weighing 4lb 5oz
Paige's middle name is in honor of Rodney's mother Judith.
Paige was our baby D and she struggled at birth. She had to be intubated and have surfactant. She then had jaundice and had to spend a day under the lights. She bounced back strong and fast. She even came home before Drew. Our pediatrician warned us-- watch out for the ones that struggle at birth- they become fighters. Boy was he right! When people meet her the first time, she is the one that everyone says looks so sweet. Well, she is sweet, but she is definitely mischievous. She is the worst about picking on Drew. She steals toys, pushes people out of her way to get to the best spots... Yep. She's our little stinker.
Physically, she is our smallest. Like I said, she just has the sweetest little face! Everyone comments on how innocent she looks-- that's how she lures you in! She was our first to roll over and our first to crawl. She was the last one out, but she does not think that she is the baby.

Well, there you have it. The five wonderful Lachmann Kiddos. I know that I am tremendously blessed to have these 5 children. I'm so proud of my beautiful family and who knows? Maybe one day we'll introduce another...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Breaking News... We Have a Walker!!!

Well, for a week or two now I have been telling everyone that it is a race between Isabella, Drew and Paige to see who would walk first. The three of them love to cruise around the family room behind their little pushy walking toy. In all honesty, I thought that Drew would be the first, just for the enthusiasm he has for pushing it around. We finally had our big moment, only it was with... (drum roll please)Izzie!!!
She stepped away from Aunt Connie and stood by herself for a moment. I was sitting maybe 3 or 4 feet away on the floor. I called out to her, but was still very surprised when she toddled on over!! She took 6 or 7 steps. It was amazing!! I promptly turned her around and sent her back to Aunt Connie and off she went. Several different times she took as many as 8 steps. We clapped and cheered- she would clap right along with us. She was proud as well- as she should be. We worked with the others for a little while, but no one else has taken more than one step on their own. Julia is still lagging behind the others here. She doesn't stand up by herself for very long. Paige and Drew are so close, I'm sure they'll be walking very soon, but tonight was Izzie's big night. I'm so proud of my big girl. Walking before 11 mos... Who said they were preemies?

4 sick babies = 1 sad Mama

Well, it all started about 10 days ago. The babies' noses were running, they had small coughs and were a little grouchy. It's that time of year and no one was completely miserable, so I just assumed it was allergies. Well, I blamed it on allergies and I blamed it on allergies, then I finally had to say, "Things are getting worse, not better. It is beginning to affect their breathing. This is lingering and I just need to take them to the pediatrician." I got them appointments for the afternoon and I'm so glad I did. The good news, no pneumonia-- that had been my big fear. We did have infected ears-- 2 for poor Drew, 1 for Izzie. They were all diagnosed with infections in the back of their noses-- I didn't write it down and can't remember the name Dr Fiedler used for this infection. They are taking antibiotics and getting as much love as Mommy can dish out. Hopefully they will be feeling better soon. Big brother's birthday is this weekend and I made sure the party is somewhere that they can have fun as well as the big kids, so I don't want anyone to feel bad on the big day. The good news, Drew was sick and it didn't make his asthma flare. Dr Fiedler said that this is a big deal because most asthmatics will flare up if anything lowers their immunity. He said the fact that Drew didn't start wheezing, could mean his prior "asthma" diagnosis could have been an isolated incident. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
We also got to get some weight updates. I knew that my babies were getting big, but I was still surprised:

We have a new smallest!
Paige - 17lbs 9oz
Julia - 17lbs 15oz
Isabella - 19lbs 8oz
Big Man Drew - 22lbs 10oz

So, I was surprised to see Paige come in lighter than Julia. I also didn't think that Izzie was that close to 20 lbs. Guess she wants her car seat turned around at 1 year! I'm counting these as their 11 month weights since it is so close. We'll see who is how big in a little over a month when they turn the big 1!!!!!