Thursday, July 29, 2010

Darn Paparazzi!

Today was a big day for me. Target marked many of their toys down to 75% off. For a stay at home Mom to five kids, this qualifies as an event. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a babysitter, but I was not going to miss out. I loaded up the crew and took them with me. This meant I got there later than planned and things were kind of picked over. It also made it impossible to hold things back as birthday presents for Will. Oh well, I still found some good deals. I bought quite a bit and saved some money. In my book, that qualifies as a good day.

Unfortunately, my good mood did not continue. We got home, I gave the kids lunch and put them down for their nap. Then I sat down to check my email. I got an email from a friend named Gina. Gina told me that a Facebook friend of hers (who I do not know) had taken a picture of me holding Will's hand and pushing the quad stroller into Target. She then posted it on her Fb page with the caption, "Please, don't ever let this be me."

I can not even tell you how I feel right now. Unfortunately, my first reaction was vanity. I really wished I had taken a moment to fix my hair instead of just pulling it back into a ponytail. But you know what? I was going to shop the clearance aisles at Target with my family, I didn't really think I needed to get ready for my close-up!

Then I felt anger and outrage. Never let her have five wonderful children to love and adore? Fine, she doesn't deserve them! Not that it matters, but, for the record, my children were very good while we were out. It's not like they were crying and screaming or behaving terribly. They were sweet and adorable.

At this point, I mostly feel annoyed. I have plenty to deal with in my daily life. I really do not need people photographing and commenting on my family. I try to be polite to people who comment or ask questions, but I do say no if people ask to take their picture (you'd be amazed how many people have asked!). I see people taking pics with their cell phones sometimes and have not been bold enough to ask them to stop. Well, that is about to change.

I hope that this makes sense. I am still so shaken up, I'm not sure if I'm able to express myself clearly. I just wanted to try and get this out and processed. What should I do? Should I try to contact this person? Ask her to take the picture down?

Darn Paparazzi!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Five Years Ago Today...

I was one day past due with my big boy Will. I was lucky enough to be going through my pregnancy with two of my sisters. My sister Joanna was around five months pregnant with her first and my sister Cathy was right behind me at 37 weeks with her third. I had just gone to my 40 week appointment and was told that I was not dilated at all, I was not effacing or having any contractions. I was very disappointed and just wanted to have this baby. My sisters and I had been calling each other and checking in after all of our checkups. I was pretty frustrated though, and went on to work without calling either sister.

About 45 minutes after I arrived at work, my cell phone rang. I saw it was my sister Cathy. I picked up and began telling her about my appointment. I told her I was sorry I didn't call, I was just disappointed. I can still hear her saying, "Don't be. He'll come out when he's ready." She sounded awful, so I asked her if she felt okay. She began crying. Last night she had realized that she couldn't feel the baby moving. After a very long night, she and her husband went to her Ob/Gyn and learned that she had lost her baby.

She was home getting things in order before going to the hospital to deliver her precious baby. Cathy lives about an hour south of us. My parents went down to watch her two older sons. Joanna and I headed down to be with her during her labor. Shortly after we arrived, Cathy's best friend Kara got there. Cathy, her husband Brian and the three of us talked, cried and even laughed a little during that long painful (mostly emotionally-- the nurses were wonderful at making sure Cathy was comfortable) day. When it was time for Cathy to begin pushing, Joanna, Kara and I left to let Cathy and Brian have this time alone. Shortly after I arrived home, Cathy called and said, "He's here. He's a boy. We named him Finnegan Albert (our Grandfather's name). He's absolutely beautiful."

As anxious as I had once been for my son to come out, I now asked that he wait. I didn't want to give birth in the time between Finn's death and his funeral. My family (and myself) were already on quite an emotional ride. I didn't want to further complicate things. I also wanted to be certain I could attend his funeral. Will cooperated, and a few days later, Finn was laid to rest. His service was simple and beautiful. The small children's portion of the cemetery was full of people. So many people already knew and loved him.

Almost a week later, my Will was born. I think that my father said it well when he said that he was grateful that Will was born after all of this. Babies being born are reminders that life does go on. Babies bring hope.

It's not only on July 28th that I think about Finn. I think about him a lot of other times as well. Of course, I have a living, breathing reminder. Whenever Will reaches a milestone, I think Finn would be as well. This summer Cathy should be getting Finn ready to start kindergarten. When Will plays with her boys, Gus (10), Max (7) and now Huck(yes, named in honor of Finn (3)), I know that something is missing. I already spoke with Cathy this morning. She, Brian and the boys are going to have a picnic lunch at the cemetery today. Finn, you will always be remembered and are always loved!

Monday, July 26, 2010

One of the Big Boys

This weekend Will had his best friend Zachary over. They had a great time together. Riding their bikes and scooters, running in the sprinkler, tearing around the house... Just being silly boys. Zachy is an only child, so he thinks the quads are really neat. At one point, I let Will and Zachary watch a Scooby-Doo video on my laptop in the living room. They said it was okay if Drew watched it with them.

Drew was in 7th Heaven!! This was hands down the coolest moment of his life! He got to sit with the big boys and watch a show. Doesn't he look just a little happy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Solidarity Sister!

This morning Izzie was not listening and got put in time out. I had to laugh (and grab the camera) when her sisters went over and stood with her.

(for some reason they all wanted to wear socks today.
It is hot as Hades, so I have no idea why,
but they are also all wearing different socks. Whatever...)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Root, Root, Root for the Redlegs!

It is shameful that it has taken us this long, but we finally took Will to his first Reds game of the season. He loves to go and there is no better fan!! He cheers his little heart out-- to the point that I actually had to ask him to rein it in last night. Luckily the people sitting in front of him were very nice and said they enjoyed his enthusiasm.

We took Will to his first Reds game when he was 2 1/2. That would be next summer for the quads. I mentioned that to Rod and he said we'll just have to wait and see. Every month or two is so different, who knows what they'll be like next summer!

Will, the Reds #1 Fan!
(sorry it's sideways, I wish I knew how to fix things)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We've Been Saved!

We were rescued by a knight in puffy white armor!!
The hornets are gone and the yard is safe!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Help! We Are Being Held Captive!

Saturday I took the kids out and ran some errands while Rod was working. We arrived home about the same time he did and we unloaded the kids from the van and kind of hung out in the front yard for a little bit. Let the kids run around and burn off the last of their energy before dinner. When we got inside, Will was telling us that there was a bee hive in his favorite climbing tree. I know it sounds terrible, but Will says a lot of things. I am never sure when he is in reality and when he is in "Will's World." I kind of brushed off his comments. Then he asked if Daddy wanted to go see the bee hive. Rod went out with him. When he came back, he said there really was something out there!

He began planning how he was going to get this thing down. I said, "Easily, we call an exterminator and they do it for us." He thought that was silly and that he could definitely handle this on his own. Luckily, it was late by this point and we didn't have any bee/wasp spray, so his brilliant plans had to wait until Sunday morning.

Sunday Rod and I went out to investigate together. We discovered we are not dealing with a bee hive, but a hornet's nest. It was at this point that I put my foot down about have a professional handle it. Hornets are quite aggressive and I was not willing to risk anyone being attacked. Also, I read online that hornets are relatives of wasps. I am allergic to wasps, so I don't know if I would be allergic to hornets. Don't want to find that one out the hard way!

The downside to have an exterminator come out is that we have to wait! This nest hangs right over our driveway. The same driveway where the crew usually hangs out and rides their cozy coupes and things. There is no way I am taking the kids out there until the nest is gone! I would be a wreck the whole time watching for hornets. I couldn't stop thinking about that yesterday-- I wonder how many days we have played out there with them right over our heads! Thank goodness Will saw it and told us.

Now if we could just have our evil captors removed, the kids and I will be free to play in the front yard again!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Uh-Oh! They Have a Look-Out!!

I know that all Mothers think that their children are special. Mine really are, though! Seriously, they are very smart and clever. While I am incredibly proud of them, this makes it difficult to stay a step ahead. Rod and I always joke that if we have another child, we want that child to be simple (and short-- tall kids reach things you don't want them to reach sooner).

Anyway, once again they have learned a new lesson. This evening we were finishing baths and getting everyone ready for bed. I was getting Drew dried and dressed in the front room. I finished and went back to the family room where the other quads were gated in. Paige had turned over the bucket we use to store their blocks. She was standing on it and opening and closing the dead bolt on the back door. Julia was standing on the floor at her feet watching the doorway. When she saw me she starting hitting Paige's legs yelling, "Paigey! Paigey!"

They have figured out that they can work together. Someone can commit the crime, while someone keeps an eye out for Mommy or Daddy. They still need to work on perfecting their system, but the idea has been hatched. I'm telling you, Evil Geniuses!!
Paige-- Julia had taken off by this point.
She knew not to stick around the scene of the crime!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Little Lindsay Lohan?!?

The other afternoon, we were playing out on the deck when I noticed something. Paige had put Will's plastic watch around her ankle. At a glance, though, doesn't it look like one of those alcohol monitoring bracelets recently made famous by a certain troubled young starlet?? Not really my dream for my daughter's future.

Julia, Paige and Drew

It really is just a watch!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Will's Playroom!

When we first moved into our home and brought four newborns home to live with a (then) 3 year old, we were faced with a dilemma. Will had a lot of toys that had little parts. With four babies, I knew I would not always see if one of them put something in their mouth. Because of this, we set up a playroom for Will in the formal dining room. Here he could keep toys with small parts or anything we thought the quads may break. It was also nice for him to have a special place considering how much of our time and space the quads consumed.

Now that the quads are nearing two, we have seen some changes. First of all, they are pretty good about not putting things in their mouths. Second, they and Will have started to play together very well. As we get closer to the basement being completed (Oh who am I kidding? That room will never be finished! Do not get me started on that darn basement! Anyhoo...), we are planning to consolidate to one playroom. Will plays in the quads playroom often, but the other day I went ahead and let everyone play together in Will's playroom. I sat in there with them and everyone was playing nicely. After a little while, I was confident enough that it was going to well to run upstairs to put away laundry. This is what I came downstairs to find...

They had taken every bucket from Will's toy organizer and dumped them into the entryway.

The entryway is smaller than the dining room, so I have no idea how this plan got started.

The kids much preferred sitting in the buckets to storing toys there.
Paige and Julia

Paige wearing Will's shoes and sitting in a bucket.
Yep, that's my life!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Random Thoughts and Some Parade Pics...

--I wonder when Drew will stop thinking it's funny to dump out his food, put his bowl on his head and say, "hat!" Probably not until his sisters stop laughing. I really hope it is soon.

--I have a new entry for weirdest thing people say when they see/find out about the quads. A lady leaned in (always a hint they know what they are about to say is inappropriate or rude) and asked, "Are they normal or were they fertilized?" Well, they are no longer eggs, so yes, they were fertilized. We were all fertilized lady. Normal? This question is open to debate, but as far as 22 mo olds go I will say yes, fairly normal.

--I recently overheard a tender moment between Rod and Drew. Rod- "You're really cute buddy. That's why we keep you. Well that and the tax deduction." Sweet, huh?

--I took Julia to the doctor the other day (more ear trouble, ugh!) and they had her stand on the big kid scale instead of sit in the baby scale. She looked so big (well the skinnie-minnie is still barely 22 lbs, so maybe not big but grown-up) I almost cried right there in the office.

--My laundry room is so piled up right now that I'm honestly a little afraid to go in there. I just keep closing the door and hoping that the next time I open it all of the clothes will be clean, dry and folded. It hasn't happened yet, but I'll keep you updated.

--My kids love playing outside but it is sooo hot right now. Yesterday I lasted maybe a half hour then told the kids we should go inside. They didn't want to so I bribed them with a tv show. Mother of the year? Maybe not, but I was cool.

--The Independence Day parades were so much fun this year! The kids had a great time even if they don't really "get it" yet. Drew kept picking up candy and throwing it back.

My crew. Not one looking at the camera.
Great shot as always.

Uncle Patrick with Kate and Alex

Rod's cousin Jarod was Uncle Sam

Will looking cool

Paige checking out the snack situation

Drew reminding Alex of the importance of sunscreen.

Izzie taking a break from all the excitement

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bath Time!!!!

When we first tried bathing the quads together, it was a disaster.

We tried again about a month after that. All four babies were soaking happily in the tub, when what should surface? That's right-- someone pooped in the tub. We got all the kids out and Rod took them into our bath tub while I stayed behind to clean the hall bath. A minute later I hear, "Drew just pooped!" Yep, two poopers in one bath. At this point we were out of bath tubs, so the quads had to finish their bath in our stand up shower. I can still picture them all standing in the shower stall shivering and crying. So confused about what is going on. Not a great day.

After the trauma of that, we gave up for a while, but recently have started group baths again and it's great!! The kids love it and it is a good way to wind down the day.

I only have a few photos because with that many kids climbing around in a tub it is tricky to get cute, yet decent, pictures.

Paige is all soaped up!

Julia loves group baths!

Rub-a-dub-dub four babies in a tub

Monday, July 5, 2010

Playing in the Pool

Last weekend my niece, Taylor, had her high school graduation party. We had a great time and spent most of the afternoon in the pool. More precisely Rod and the kids played in the pool with Aunt Myra while Mommy ran around taking pictures and doing constant head counts. I am still a bit nervous with the kids in the pool. Four babies are a lot to keep an eye on, and then I worry that we'll be so preoccupied with the babies that I won't keep a close enough eye on Will. Will can do a decent doggie paddle and knows he never goes in Aunt Laura's pool without a life jacket, but I still worry quite a bit.

All of my worrying was for nothing. Everyone was completely safe and had a great time playing. Will was going down the slide and playing in the deep end with his older cousins, so I don't have any good pictures of him. Drew is usually our water baby. First one in and last one out of any water source, but this day he just didn't really feel like it. He played around on the deck and waded on the steps, but didn't really get in. The girls and Daddy and Aunt Myra had a grand time and stayed in for hours!

Paige, Myra, Julia, Izzie and Daddy

Aunt Myra and the girls

Drew still had fun playing around on the patio.

Then he found a big plastic margarita cup and loved it.
He carried it around all day and played with it in the water.
Should I be worried that his favorite part of the party was an alcoholic drink cup?

Wading with his awesome cup

Julia chillin'
You can see her little legs are straight out in front of her.
She loved these floats!

Paige loving the water fall

Izzie found a new BFF.
Rod's cousin Troy played with her and threw her around all day.
She loved it and he must have gone home with a sore back!

In some ways it is getting easier to take the kids places and in some ways it is getting harder. I know that we just need to work it out and let them meet new people and experience new things. Every time we have a big all day outing like this one, we do feel quite a sense of pride and accomplishment once we are back home. Our family can be a lot work, but they are so much fun!!!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cute Pics of Cute Kids!

We have been having a good time, but not much to report. Thought I would put up some funny pictures of my little cuties. Do these make me look smarter?

Drew reading a book and cheesing for Mommy

Izzie setting up a tea party.
This has been her favorite thing to do lately.
And she insists on color coordinating the dishes.

Will was so excited to help Uncle Shawn install some lights in the basement.

Cowboy Drew

Julia looking as glamorous as possible while
wearing Mommy's sunglasses upside down and reading a Veggie Tale book.