Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back at 2009...

Well, another year has come and gone. And what a year it was! My quaddies were born in September, 2008. At the beginning of this year, we were still in a bit of a haze, trying to figure out what life with quads was. As I look back at 2009, I think that is how I will remember this year. 2009 was the year that Rod and I truly became parents of multiples. We figured out a system and schedule that worked for us. We learned who each of our children is. We have good days and we still have bad days, but we know that the bad days will pass and we will once again wake to 5 smiling, wonderful children. Children we are incredibly fortunate to be blessed to raise.
I know that our children and our lives and we are going to change each and every year, but we have a foundation now. We are a family of seven. We work. We love each other and we function as a team. We will have struggles, but we will face them together. My parents have a sign in their family room that reads, "Family is Forever." I have always joked that that is a for better of worse statement. Now, as I lead my family into a new year, I appreciate that. We have become a true family and we will be forever.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some fun on the way to Christmas

Julia found her big brother Will's shoes sitting around and decided to give them a try. Of course, when I went to get a picture, she immediately crinkled up her nose as she loves to do for the camera. We have dubbed this her "stink face" because she really does look like she smells something stinky.

Will really wanted to make a gingerbread house from scratch, but I had to break the news to him that his Mommy wasn't that talented. Instead we went out and bought a gingerbread house kit. It was still a lot of fun to decorate and certainly looks better than something I had baked would.

We got our first decent snow fall, but I have to admit, We just weren't up to the task of bundling up all four babies and Will into their big bulky snow gear. Especially since we are guaranteed that at least one baby wouldn't like it and would cry to come in within five minutes of getting outside-- after thirty minutes of preparing!
The babies did love to look at the snow, though.

They especially loved when their big brother went outside and threw snowballs at the glass door. They would scream with excitement every time one hit!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Will's Christmas Concert

I have a lot of catching up to do. We have had a lovely and blessed holiday season, but Mom was a slacker in the blogging category. So here is a past due post about our big boy Will's first Christmas concert with his preschool class. He was so excited about this. They sang "Jingle Bells" and he got to ring a jingle bell. He was so adorable. He took it very seriously. He came home disappointed the few days they didn't practice at school and we would practice at home. He knew every word and would sing them loudly. We sang the song often enough at home that the girls started doing the "Ha!ha!ha!" part. It was really adorable. Unfortunately, I don't have that on video. I do have Will's debut. He is in the front row wearing a green shirt with the red jingle bell he so loved. Even after all of our dedicated rehearsing, none of the kids sang. All you can hear is the bells and the poor teachers trying to sing loud enough to be heard.

Then the kids did a short second number. It was cute and Will was so proud. If you ask him, he will tell you he sang the whole thing. Just Mom and Daddy came, so the babies didn't steal any of his thunder. Afterward, we went out to eat and did some Christmas shopping. Will picked out a present to give the babies. It was such a nice day and so good for Rod and I to get to spend some time focusing only on Will. A great start to the holiday season!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

15 Months

The babies turned 15 months old this Tuesday. Time really is flying right by us. This meant another round of well-child checkups. I have begun to take the babies 2 at a time. All four is just too much. It is crowded and hectic in the room, but the worst of it is the shots. I feel like I only have a second to comfort the baby that just got a shot before the next baby gets theirs. The downsides are two trips to the pediatrician's office and that I need to get a babysitter for the other two. I still feel like it makes a better visit. I feel like I can actually talk to the doctor and hear all of his answers. It's just much easier for me.
Anyway, what this means is Izzie and Julia went on Tuesday. They both passed with flying colors! They have reached or passed every developmental milestone. They are my two biggest talkers, so there was no concern there. My only concern about Izzie was that she has a flat spot on the back of her head. People keep telling me I'm crazy, but her head is not shaped right. When I mentioned this to Dr Fiedler, he did agree that she has a flat spot, but he said it is not severe and not harmful. She doesn't need a helmet or anything. Yeah! I was a little worried about Julia's funny walk. She is a little bow legged and walks very gingerly. Dr Fiedler had her walk around the room several times and she did her funny strut like a tiny super model. Then he sat her on her bottom in the middle of the room and she scooted herself into a squat and pushed straight up from there to standing. He declared her fine. He said she is just more timid than the others and has a wide stance to ensure her balance and walks like she does everything-- carefully. The girls each got their MMR and their seasonal flu booster. Visit #1 was a success and finished!
On Thursday, I took Drew and Paige to see Dr Harmeling. Dr Fiedler is our regular Dr, but he was off on Thurs. Fortunately, we like Dr Harmeling a lot also. I didn't actually have any concerns about little Miss Paige, but I was concerned about Drew. He can walk. He walks fine. But he still chooses to crawl sometimes. I would say he is about 70/30 walking/crawling. The girls only walk. Dr Harmeling said the "normal" range for walking is any steps by 15 mos. Since he is obviously in that range, she is not concerned. She said he may just be more confident crawling still and it may take a while before he is exclusively walking. My other concern was his speech. Now I know that girls tend to develop faster than girls, but he doesn't babble nearly as much as the girls. By 15 mos, they are supposed to have five words. Drew has one. Mama. And he doesn't even say it that often. Dr Harmeling said that he may be "speech delayed", but she just wanted to wait and see how he is doing at 18 mos. If we are still concerned, she will send First Steps out to the house to evaluate him. The babies got the same shots, and we were on our way. All four babies' visits finished!!!!
Overall, our 15 month appointments went very well. I'll keep an eye and Drew's speech, but I'm not letting myself get too stressed. He is a boy and a quad, he may just need a little more time. Even if he needs speech therapy, this isn't that big of a deal. I'm so blessed. My children are growing bigger and stronger everyday and they are so healthy!
Here are their weight and height updates:
(I can't remember their actual heights, only the percentages)

Izzie 22lbs 1oz 75-90% height
Julia 20lbs 0oz 95% height
Drew 25lbs 8oz 90% height
Paige 20lbs 3oz 75% height

So, everyone is tall. The girls are still a little thin, but they are all comfortably on the charts, so we are happy with that. It is hard to believe these kids started life at 3 and 4 lbs. They sure made up for lost time!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Santa Luncheon

We attended my multiples groups' Santa Luncheon this weekend. The kids were good and did a great job meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus for the first time.

Julia meets Mrs. Claus. Yes, her bow stayed in her hand the whole time, but just look at those big blue eyes!

Will knows the drill. He came out and met Santa like a little gentleman.

Then he went through the list of gifts desired.

We tried getting only the 5 kids with Santa and Mrs. Claus...

But the babies decided that wasn't going to happen. Good thing Santa and Mrs. Claus are so experienced with kids. Not everyone can hold on when they all decide to get down at once!
We have a lot of pictures of the back of Izzie's head.

This was the closest we got to everyone looking at the camera at the same time.
Oh well. Group shots may be a problem for a while.

Will made sure to get a good hug before we left.

We had such a good time and the kids love all of the Christmas lights and decorations. I am looking forward to all of our upcoming Christmas events. Kids really do make the season magical again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decking the Halls (Quad Style)

So first, a little back story. I love to decorate for Christmas. I love to decorate MY way. I love white lights and formal trees. I do not like cluttered, crazy, mismatched trees . I do not like colored lights. I have put up a formal Christmas tree since my husband and I married 9 years ago. I have done a couple of themes, but my favorite is red, gold and crystal. Beautiful. Classic. Then we had Will 4 years ago. It took a couple of years, but he was given a ton of kid Christmas ornaments and then he began to make some. I found what I thought was the perfect solution. I bought a second tree. In the living room, I still have my pretty, matching, formal tree. In the family room, we have the "family tree." This is where the mismatched and homemade ornaments go. Even last year we did that. It was perfect! The babies were tiny- only 3 1/2 mos at Christmas. They loved to look at the lights, but couldn't touch anything. That is definitely not the case this year. They can and do touch everything! The only option I could see that gave me a chance of maintaining my sanity was not to put up a second tree. They spend almost all day in the family room. There is simply no way I could keep them from the tree. Of course, even I'm not enough of a Grinch to tell Will he can't put his beloved ornaments on Mommy's pretty tree, so Goodbye matched and formal, Hello mismatched, but loved!! I even got in the spirit enough to allow colored lights on the front of the house. I still insisted on simple lights-- no Griswold display! My Father-in-Law came over and put the lights out with Will as his assistant. They had a great time and I must admit, the house looks nice.
My next quad hurdle was the stockings. Our house is unusual in that there is a fireplace in the family room, but not the living room. I can not hang the stockings from the mantle or the babies will pull them down. That wouldn't be the end of the world, but this would also bring down the heavy stocking hangers we have. I don't want a baby brained by a brass stocking holder! I still do not have a solution for this. I even ordered these beautiful personalized stockings for everyone before I realized they have nowhere to go. Need to work on this and quickly. Saint Nicholas Day is this weekend, and he needs stocking to stuff! All suggestions are being accepted.
The tree is up

Will loved helping to decorate!! Here he is wearing a Santa hat, two stockings and the tree skirt as a cape. He looks like some sort of Christmas Superhero!!

The house with colored lights-- and a reindeer Will loves
(yes I know a porch light is out, but I didn't until I went to take this picture and of course we had no new light bulbs.)

The mantle with no stocking hung with care.
(actually, I have the tassel ends tucked up normally, I just took them down for the picture)

Our tree
I have decided that I absolutely love it. It is too crowded. It doesn't match. It's not fancy or elegant. It IS full of wonderful memories and love. This is clearly the perfect tree for our family.