Monday, May 31, 2010

I Love a Parade!

The crew and I headed to our city's Memorial Day parade along with my Mom, two sisters, one sister-in-law and three nieces. We had a good time and I was once again reminded of how fast time is going. Last Memorial day, the quads were small and content to stay in their stroller the entire time. Not this year! They weren't too sure what was going on, but they knew they wanted to be right in the action. They were very good, though and stayed near us and out of the street-- well except Drew who kept wandering over to the family next to us with two young daughters. Already ditching us for the ladies!!

They handed out American flags/sibling whackers.
This helped their argument to let them out of the choo-choo.
We needed some space between them.

Will goofing off with Alex's sunglasses

Kate ready to go with Grandma

Julia just chillaxin'

Alex is all set.

Joanna helps Kate and Alex collect candy.

Will and Ana are expert candy catchers.

Paige was absolutely thrilled with a Tootsie Roll she picked up off the ground.
Luckily, she wasn't really interested in eating it-- just wanted to carry it around for a while.
Will hanging out after the parade eating some candy.
A good time was had by all. Will is very interested in soldiers and everything about them. We have "adopted" a soldier in Iraq we send letters and care packages to, so I explained to him that today is a day to remember the men and women soldiers who have died for our country. He understood it (at least as well as a four year old can), so I had to laugh at this. In the beginning of the parade, several servicemen were in uniform. They were all quite young and Will was very impressed with them and their cool uniforms. Then some Korean War and WWII vets came by riding on a truck. Will asked who they were. I told him, "They used to be soldiers. They fought in wars a long time ago."
Will replied, "And now they're just old men?"
"Yep. And they are lucky to have gotten to become old men."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I've been photo-tagged

Imagine my surprise when I was reading some of my favorite blogs and found that I had been photo-tagged by Kimberly over at Twins Squared.

The Instructions:

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8th photo folder.
2) Select the 8th photo in that folder.
3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.
4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same.

If nothing else, it made me curious what the picture would be, so I had to play along and find out.

(standing) Rod, me, Daniel (nephew), Laura (SIL), Taylor, Ana (niece) and Ed (BIL)

(in or on strollers) Izzie, Drew, Will, Paige and Julia

This is a picture from last July. My niece Taylor danced and sang in the shows at Coney Island last summer. We went up one afternoon to watch her and let the kids enjoy the park. It was the babies' first time there. We had a great time! This also makes me somewhat sentimental because Taylor just graduated high school and is going on to college to minor in theater. She is a very talented performer and we are so proud of her!

I know that I'm supposed to tag 8 people, but how about I just leave this as an open tag? Anyone reading this, look through your old photo files and post what you find. It might just be a fun memory like mine was!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Eating with the Quads

Kimberly over at the King Quads, recently did a post about what her quads are eating at 9 mos.

While I was looking at her post, I realized that for the life of me I couldn't remember what the babes were eating at 9 mos. Since this is supposed to be a journal and baby book for me, I thought that it would be good to do a post about what my quads are eating now.

First of all, I had to be completely honest. No making their diet seem more healthy or exotic than it really is. I made sure to feed them very normal meals that they eat on a regular basis. No point in documenting it if you are not going to be real.

Now, I know that my babies eat a lot of food. My sister has a daughter who just turned 2. She is only 4 mos older than the quads and every time we eat with them, my sister is shocked at how much food my kids eat. I never really thought much about it. We don't really snack, so I just wrote it off as that. They only eat 3 meals a day, so we have to make the most of them. Usually, though, I feed the quads in "courses." I give them a vegetable, then a main course, then fruit(s) and maybe a treat afterward. Broken up like this, it just didn't seem like that much. For this, I put their whole meal on one plate at one time. My goodness! They do eat a lot of food. Everyone is at a healthy weight or a bit thin and most of the food is healthy, so I'm not going to worry about it too much, but I was surprised.

I know "breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but I don't usually eat much then. In fact, I never ate breakfast at all until my first pregnancy. I started then and I still need to eat something, but typically I just have coffee and yogurt. I guess because of this, breakfast is the kids' smallest meal of the day also.

This is a very standard breakfast. A baby cereal bar, half of a banana and a small yogurt per child.

About four hours later, they have lunch. Now, for lunch and dinner they eat a much wider variety of foods, but I thought for the purposes of this post, I would show a simple "go-to" lunch and dinner.

Here is lunch. Half (two quarters) of a grilled cheese (provolone cheese on whole wheat bread), green beans, Mandarin oranges, blueberries and a few graham cracker sticks.
After lunch is nap and a few hours after that is
3 chicken nuggets, sliced carrots, a slice of cheese, strawberries, grapes and a few vanilla wafers.
Like I said,sometimes they do eat better meals and frankly, some days they probably eat worse meals, but this is a pretty average selection of what the quadruplets are eating now.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Question of the Week

What is the craziest thing someone has ever said to you about your multiples
and how did you respond?
When I saw this was the question of the week, I had to respond. We of course attract lots of questions and comments, but for the most part we get the same ones over and over. From time to time, someone will throw one out there that just leaves me scratching my head. Let's face it, people do not always think before they speak. Here are some of my favorites:
1. One of the first times I took the quads out in public, this lady (I would guess in her early to mid-twenties) came over and asked me if they were quadruplets. No biggie, everyone asks that. But when I said yes, she said, "I have always wanted quadruplets!" What?!? I love my children and would never give one back, but nobody wants quads! She even went on to tell me that she already has their names picked out, so I guess she has also determined their sexes. I just told her good luck and walked on, but I would love to go with her when she goes to the RE and asks for quads. I just want to see the doctor's face.
2. The quads' first Christmas we were at the portrait studio with all five kids and fielding a lot of questions. An older lady came over and told me that twins run in her family. I am still not entirely certain why she decided to tell me this, but she was a sweet little old lady, so I just smiled and said, "Twins also run in my husband's family." (Which they do. I know that twins on the father's side mean nothing, but we seemed to swapping meaningless facts, so I played along.) She gasped and said, "Oh! They must run in your side also!" Like she had just figured out how the quads happened. Twins + twins = quads, right?
3. I took the quads shopping one day while Will was at school. I was pushing the quad stroller and a lady walked over and asked, "Are they triplets?" I smiled and said, "Actually, they are quadruplets." She pointed to Drew and said, "Even him?" Poor Drew, aside from being the only boy in the set, he is about seven pounds heavier than the girls, so I actually get this question fairly often. What sets this woman apart, was her follow-up. I said, "Yes, he's a quad with them." She then looked at me and asked, "Are you sure?"
What?!?!?! Am I sure??? What woman does not know how many children she had and when? I simply said, "I'm their Mother. I am quite certain."
I'm sure that I could come up with some more if I thought a little longer, but you get the idea. We really hear it all...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One and the Same by Abigail Pogrebin

I came across this book in the bookstore and was immediately intrigued. I have always been interested in genetics and (for obvious reasons) have become quite interested in multiples. This book is written by an identical twin, Abigail Pogrebin. She very openly discusses her relationship with her sister and interviews dozens of identical twins. She also speaks with experts in reproduction, genetics and psychology. She leaves no stone unturned and exposes a relationship most of us will never experience for ourselves. She shows the complete twin relationship the good and the bad.

It was this total honesty that left me nervous to read the book. I already worry if my children will suffer for being quadruplets, I didn't want to read a book that may confirm my fears. I was pleased to see that this was not the case at all. Ms. Pogrebin speaks to many twins and while some of them have difficult relationships with their twins, they all seem to treasure their special connection. To have been with another person from the moment of conception, and even share dna in the case of identicals, is a unique and unbreakable bond.

While none of my children are identical, the main theme of the book still applies to them. How can you be an individual and a part of a set at the same time? To a lesser extent, I can understand this dilemma. I grew up in a family of eight children in a small town. Everyone knew at least one Kluthe. It seemed that everywhere I went, I was "a Kluthe." I love my family very much and have always been proud to be a Kluthe. Sometimes, however, it was difficult knowing that I was being judged before people knew me based on their opinions of my siblings. I can only imagine that this will be magnified for the quads. They will likely be referred to as "the Lachmann Quads" as often as they are called by their own names. They will have the comfort of their sibling bond, but the frustration of not being viewed as an individual. While there are no real answers, I think that the only thing I can do to help with this is to encourage each kid to follow their own path. The main message that I took from the book is that the bond is there and will always be there. I do not need to encourage the bond, I need to respect each child as an individual and allow them to find their own interests.

This book is a fascinating glimpse into the world of mutiples. It offers us singletons a better understanding of the special, yet complicated relationship shared between multiples. As a singleton mother of quadruplets, I appreciated this view. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has or is expecting multiples.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Say What?

The quads are 20 months old. They are at such a fun stage! It seems like everyday they are learning new words and phrases. Izzie and Julia have been speaking quite a bit for a long time, but Drew and Paige have really turned it on lately and constantly surprise me with words I didn't think they knew.

Some of my favorites:

-All of the girls (and now the whole family) call Drew "Bubby". I don't know where this comes from. I call him Buddy a lot, so maybe it's that or maybe it's brother? But they call Will by his name. Julia and Paige say it funny "Wee-ill"-like with a southern accent so it is 2 syllables. Izzie says it like "Wool." For a while I wondered why she said "whoa" whenever Will came in the room before I figured out it was "Will." Anyway, the Bubby thing has caught on. They know his name and if I ask his name they'll say Drew, but if they are talking to or about him, it's Bubby.

-One downside to having an older child is that you have a lot of toys that are not age appropriate that the babies are certain to find and fall in love with. All of the quads like Will's sit-n-spin, but Paige loves it. She initially loved it for the music it played (what is with all toys making noise now? I had a sit-n-spin when I was little and it never played music. I'm old.), but at that time, Paige was terrible about not wanting to sit on it. She thought it should be called the stand-n-fall-n-break your neck, so I had to keep her away from it. Now she knows to sit on it and can spin herself (of course still playing the music!) Anyway, this very long story is to say her favorite new word is "spin-n-spin." She is so cute! If it is in the other room, she'll stand at the gate and call "spin-n-spin!!"

-There is nothing like having a toddler with you all day to really show all of your quirks. They repeat everything they see and hear. I never realized how often I say the word "awesome" until Izzie picked it up. Now I know that I say it way too much! It is so cute though in her perky little girl voice awe-some!

-I probably shouldn't admit Drew's favorite new phrase, but here goes. The babies are learning their body parts. They know all of the basics, but we are filling in between the head, shoulders, knees and toes. I was pulling for "bottom", but my husband won out and they all now know where their "butts" are. Well, if you saw my first comment, you know that Drew is Bubby and he loves to walk around patting his big diaper bottom and saying "Bubby butt." I don't love the word butt, but how can't you love that?

-Julia is hilarious. She probably has the same or maybe even more words than Izzie, but she is quite shy. Izzie talks a lot. To anyone. Julia will talk at home, but is quite shy anywhere else. That is what makes this story so funny to me. At breakfast every morning, we sing songs. I've always sang to them, but the babies can now join me in singing a lot of the songs, so it more fun. We always sing the alphabet and an Alleluia church song, but I like to add others to mix it up some. We were over at my in-laws for dinner a week or so ago and the quads were all just walking around exploring a bit. Julia was across the room near my two sisters-in-law when they called me over. They asked if they were hearing her correctly, and they were. Julia was walking around singing, "We will, we will, Rock You!"

I love this age and I am having so much fun watching them learn everyday. I really need to get more videos (especially of our morning sing-alongs) because I know I will miss their sweet little baby voices when they get older and suddenly just sound like kids.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mommy's Little Monkeys

The babies have an animal picture book they love reading. We have started doing the animal noises and I crack up at my kids' hilarious animal sounds! Our favorite is definitely the monkey. My little monkeys are excellent monkeys, so tonight I recorded their monkey impersonations before bed.

Sweet little Paige was tired and grouchy and not very interested in playing monkeys with us. She gave us her Angry Monkey.

Drew really just wanted to get his hands on my phone and is not paying any attention to his monkey. He is the Distracted Monkey.

Izzie gives us her Jumping Monkey. Stella wants her moment on film, so she makes a brief appearance at the end.

I have to say Julia's Dancing Monkey is my favorite! She loves to do her monkey and makes me laugh every time! Never mind Drew walking past in the beginning with his pajamas half unzipped (I think he's going for a sexy Burt Reynolds look...).

(p.s. yes the girls' pajamas are on backwards, that's a whole other post!)

This is just one of many ways these adorable kids make me laugh every single day! I have such a good time watching them learn little things and seeing how they each put their own spin on everything. I'm a very lucky Monkey Momma!!!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Babies in Boosters

Recently, we decided to move the quads out of their high chairs and put them in booster seats at the table with us. Of course, to fit everyone, we had to get a new table. It is huge, but we love having everyone together. We still only eat some meals together because of Rod's work schedule and the babies' bed time, but when we have the chance, it is a glimpse into the future. The family gathered around the table for a meal.

The babies are still working on eating with utensils. They love it! Even when they can barely get anything to their mouth, they get excited just seeing the baby utensils.

Izzie doing a pretty good job

Julia doing okay

Drew has a way to go still,

A very long way to go!

Paige is the slowest and the neatest.

It is so interesting watching them become little people.
They are definitely changing from babies to kids.
A little sad, but a lot of fun!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Big Weekend!

This weekend was packed for our families!! This Saturday morning my sister Karen graduated with her Master's degree in Library Sciences from the University of Kentucky. Rod has twin cousins, Alex and Jarod. Alex graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Biology from Northern Kentucky University and Jarod graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Kentucky. Saturday afternoon, Rod's niece Ana received her First Communion.

Saturday evening my family all got together to celebrate Mother's Day with my Mom. We went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant we love, then had dessert at my sister's.

My sister Tessa and her fiance Ray
He received his Master's from the University of Louisville two weeks ago.

My sister Karen and her husband Brian.
They are expecting their second child in December.

My sister Joanna and her daughter Alex.
She is expecting her third child in October.

My sister Cathy with Izzie.

Drew with my Dad.

My parents with their 11 grandchildren.
Gus (9), Max (7), Will (4), Alex (4), Huck (3), Kate (2),
Izzie (1), Julia (1), Drew (1), Paige (1) and Malcolm (1)
12 and 13 should arrive by the end of the year.

On Sunday, we got together with Rod's family to celebrate.
Alex, Ana and Jarod
It was beautiful outside and Laura has a gorgeous yard with a tire swing. Will would not leave his cousins sides, but we took the quads out and they had a great time!

Aunt Connie and Drew

Dana (family friend) and Julia

Daddy with Izzie and Paige

Julia, Drew, Mommy, Izzie, Daddy and Paige

Jarod, Taylor and Alex
Taylor graduates high school next week.

Dana, Paige, Drew, Jarod, Ana, Alex, Izzie, Julia and Taylor

We had a great weekend celebrating our amazing families. We are so lucky to have grown up in this wonderful bunch of people and are thankful to be raising our children with them.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to Me!

So this year, I did a favor for my husband. I knew exactly what I wanted for Mother's Day, so rather than sending him on a hunt, I hunted for it myself and ordered exactly what I wanted. I wanted some piece of jewelry with each of the kids' names on it. I wanted it to be something casual I could wear with jeans and a t-shirt. I wanted it to be yellow gold. The hunt was on. I looked through several on-line stores before finding just the right thing. It was a shop called "Under Her Charm." It is a gold chain with five discs on it, each about the size of a penny. On each disc is the first and middle name and date of birth of each of the kids. I got it about a week ago and I love it! I wear it every chance I get. The discs kind of stack onto each other, so it hangs nicely. I love that the discs kind of jingle when I walk. Not that I ever forget, but it's just a constant reminder of my little sweeties!!!!!

Due to my mid-grade camera and low-grade photography skills, this is the best I could do for a picture, but believe me-- it's perfect!!

Now if I can get to sleep in a little bit tomorrow morning, I will have the perfect Mother's Day!!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Home Improvement (and some pics)

We bought our house four days after I gave birth to the quads. Two days after we moved in, the babes began coming home. What this means is that we barely moved in, we never really got a chance to make it our own. That is all about to change. We have been doing a lot of things in and around the house. We have been busy, but it is exciting watching this house truly become ours.

We got quotes from a few contractors to finish our basement. We picked one and he has been working on building a big playroom and bathroom downstairs. We have spent the last couple of days picking out bathroom fixtures. I am looking at furniture and carpet. I am still not sure exactly how I want to decorate down there, but I'm going to find it. This is when it is very nice having a husband who runs a furniture store!

Speaking of furniture, we moved the quads out of their high chairs into boosters. We finally got a big enough kitchen table to fit all of us. They are so darn cute and look so grown up sitting at the table with us (pictures coming soon.)

Outside, we are working hard too. When we bought the house, there was a vegetable garden in the back yard. We moved in at the end of September. There were bunches of tomatoes, carrots, peppers (etc, etc, etc...) left. Well, the next summer I was trying to manage a 3 yr old and four 9 mo olds and Rod was trying to open a new store. We were crazy busy and barely getting through some days. The last thing on our minds was planting a garden. Well, this year, we have planted a bunch of vegetables (again, pictures to follow soon.) We'll see how they turn out, but it has been a lot of fun getting everything started!

Back when we first moved in, there were some bushes in the front flower bed that I really disliked. I told Rod that I didn't like them, so he pulled them out. That was very nice of him, but that means we have had empty flower beds for a year and a half. We have finally filled them!! My house is actually pretty to pull up to! This has been my favorite improvement yet. I love flowers and they just make a house happy!!

Somehow, I have no pictures of anything I've been talking about, so instead here are some pictures of my kids. These kids are awfully cute!

Will and Paige
(I absolutely love this picture)

Drew using the toy keys to try to get past the door knob cover.

Izzie wearing her big brother's shoes, jacket and backpack.
She's ready for school.

Paige and Julia on the sit-n-spin